Owen Slater and Simon Graber Miller electrofishing with Daragh Deegan Elkhart River

Owen Slater, left, and Simon Graber Miller are interning with Elkhart’s aquatic biologist, Daragh Deegan, this summer, electrofishing the local waterways to measure how well the rivers and aquatic life are doing. Two large electrodes at the front of the boat knock out the fish that are then caught, counted and measured.

ELKHART — The rivers flowing through Elkhart are doing swimmingly. Take it from the fish that live there. Many of them wouldn’t be in the Elkhart and St. Joseph rivers if the water quality wasn’t good. But they are there, and we know thanks to Daragh Deegan and a group of college students.

Deegan is Elkhart’s aquatic biologist. That’s not a title you find in every city, but Elkhart makes it a priority because of the importance of the waterways that converge here and are a part of the city’s identity.

Daragh Deegan and northern hogsucker

City of Elkhart aquatic biologist Daragh Deegan holds a northern hogsucker, a fish species that prefers swift currents and a rocky bottom, making it a rare catch for anglers.

Follow Rasmus S. Jorgensen on Twitter at @ReadRasmus

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