• Smith-Root | Technology For Fisheries Conservation
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Fish For

Easy Handling


Smith-Root Electric Fish Handling Gloves are a lightweight, water-proof, and portable system designed to temporarily immobilize live fish for easier handling. Special purpose gloves are electrified to pass levels of manually adjustable electric current through the body of a fish. Recovery of motion occurs for the fish upon release.

How often have you tried holding your research fish just to have it fight you and flop all over the place?

Fish handling is a daily activity for fisheries researchers and hatchery personnel, yet the process can often be harmful for both fish and handler should the fish resist.

Fisheries scientists are highly familiar with capturing using Smith-Root electrofishers. Smith-Root scientists and engineers asked: How do we utilize our technology to immobilize fish in the hands of researchers?

We answered that question and over the past year we developed and tested the Electric Fish Handling Glove system to enable safe and effective fish handling.

What is the Electric Fish Handling Glove system?

FHG and Common Carp

The Electric Fish Handling Glove system consists of specially designed conductive gloves that slip over insulating rubber gloves worn by the fish handler. Wires then connect with each fish handling glove to a lightweight, waterproof, and rechargeable control box that slips comfortably into a provided chest harness.

How does the system work?

Whenever a fish is touched with both hands, the fish completes the electrical circuit and is immobilized. Five amperage settings provide user adjustability for fish of different sizes and fish with different electrical sensitivities. Because fish are handled outside of the water, the maximum current for the glove system is only 0.025 amps, which is multiple orders of magnitude less than our other electrofishing equipment.

How quickly do fish become immobilized and how quickly do they recover?

A fish is immobilized upon simultaneous contact with both gloves. Removing one hand from the fish breaks the current, allowing the fish to instantly recover (assuming proper current setting and fish has not been removed from water for extended periods of time).

Watch A Demonstration Video


What are the benefits?

Using chemicals to immobilize fish is timely and often requires a 21 day holding period before release. Not only does the Electric Fish Handling Gloves allow for lawful immediate release of fish, it is also the most rapid immobilization and recovery option.

What fish have the gloves been used with?

The list continues to grow. To date, we have records of white sturgeon, lake trout, cutthroat trout, chinook salmon, coho salmon, chum salmon, rainbow trout, steelhead, Atlantic salmon, lingcod, black rockfish, walleye, yellow perch, common carp, muskie, channel catfish, bluegill sunfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, American eel, brook lamprey, and Pacific lamprey.

Who has used the gloves?

Along with Smith-Root scientists using the gloves for the past year, we also provided trial pairs to biologists with several agencies, including United State Fish and Wildlife Service, West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. We also provided a pair to Whooshh Technologies (Salmon Cannon) for loading of fish in to their system.

Every single user has explained that this gear transforms the ways in which they handle and process fish. Here are some of their statements:

We used the gloves to inject ground carp pituitary in muskies then take the eggs. Bottom line – we are very impressed and cannot wait for the gloves to come to market.

Scott Morrison, Wildlife Resources Section Manager, West Virginia Department of Natural Resources

I feel strongly in improving fish handling and health in all manners possible. The testing of the Electric Fish Handling Glove System proved very effective. The EFHGS has a strong place in the hatchery.

Chuck Pratt, Brood Stock Development Center Supervisor, WJ Hernandez Hatchery, Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game


Vince Bryan, CEO, Whooshh Innovations

Technical Specifications

Power Source 9V Rechargeable NiMH, 175mAh x 4
Battery Voltage, normal operation 32V min to 39V max
Battery Shutdown Voltage 30V typical, ±2% range
Estimated Battery Life 25mA range: 5 hours
16mA range: 9 hours
10mA range: 13 hours
6.3mA range: 18 hours
4mA range: 25 hours
Output Voltage 39V maximum
Output Current 25mA maximum
Environmental Requirements Storage temperature: -20° to 30° C
Size and Weight Height: 8.25 in (20.9 cm)
Width: 4.75 in (12 cm)
Depth: 2.5 in (6.3 cm)
Weight: 1.55 lb. (703 g)

Specifications subject to change without notice.

Patent Pending