• 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 without the use of chemicals.

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.

Electric Fish Handling Gloves

What is the Electric Fish Handling Glove system?

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).

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.


Science and field use of the Electric Fish Handling Gloves

Check out the science and praise that hatchery personnel, field scientists, aquaculturists, and fish veterinarians are sharing around the globe.

"Electric Fish Handling Gloves are a safe and effective tool for practitioners who need to temporarily immobilize fish for handling, enumeration, or performing various scientific procedures."

Electric Fish Handling Gloves Provide Effective Immobilization and Do Not Impede Reflex Recovery of Adult Largemouth Bass

"We have shown with this preliminary study that the Smith-Root Fish Handling Gloves are effective for immobilizing [Rainbow Trout and Lake Trout]."

Effectiveness of Smith-Root’s Fish Handling Gloves to Immobilize Lake Trout and Rainbow Trout

"[We] tested the gloves and found them effective for temporarily immobilizing Pacific lamprey, rainbow trout, and sub-adult white sturgeon."

Pacific Northwest National Laboratories Tests Fish Immobilization Gloves

"I was amazed at how effective these gloves were and how easy they made handling of large-sized fishes."

Electric Fish Handling Gloves Demonstration

"The [Electric Fish Handling Gloves] are great. We were really impressed."

New electronic gloves take the wiggle out of fish handling

"As soon as one biologist touches the fish’s head and the other touches its tail, a mild current passes through the fish and temporarily paralyzes it."

WV hatchery workers squeeze out another generation of stocked fish

"Electric Fish Handling Gloves: New technology for immobilizing & handling fish."

New technology for immobilizing & handling fish

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