Zombie bass, a trending term online this morning, has thankfully nothing to do with the SyFy Channel or some upcoming B-horror movie. In a time when even undead beavers are receiving their own feature-length film, it's easy to think otherwise.
No, zombie bass is actually the name given to fish temporarily stunned in the name of science. Thanks to a weak electric charge fed into the water via boat, the fish rise to the surface eyes wide and mouths agape as if their next meal just went from minnows to brainz. Researchers then scoop the fish up, take measurements, and then gently release them back into the water. The fish recover in a matter of minutes and quickly return to their pre-zombie states.
"By looking at the overall health and condition of the fish we collect we can tell a lot about what's going on with the fishery," said John Justice, a fisheries biologist with the Tennessee Valley Authority, who conducted electro-fishing last week in Lake Wheeler, Alabama.
For those concerned about the welfare of the fish, Justice insists that the weak electric shock has very little lasting harm on the fish. According to the AP article, it's also a far cry from the days when fish were herded into coves and then killed with a toxic chemical to enable study.
Check out video of electro-fishing below.