We describe the design, use, and sampling characteristics ofan electrofishing apparatus used to sample fish in stream habitats. The apparatus uses two prepositioned areal electrofishing devices (PAED) of different designs, a bottom parallel electrode PAED and a suspended dropper electrode PAED. To determine the effective immobilization ranges of the PAEDs, we evaluated intensities and shapes of the PAEDs' electrical fields, and the electroshock responses of fish in cages in concrete tanks and in four streams in Alabama with different water conductivities. Electroshock responses indicated that complete immobilization occurred at voltage gradients of 1.0 V/cm or higher (voltage drop, 400 V AC), as far as 35 cm from the PAED electrodes, although some fish were immobilized up to 65 cm away at 0.3 V/cm. We estimated the immobilization (stun) power density threshold to be about 10 μW/cm3. Stream evaluations of the PAEDs revealed that higher voltages were needed to immobilize fish at lower (35 μS/cm) and higher (120 and 125 μS/cm) water conductivities, whereas lower voltages were required at an intermediate conductivity (60 μS/cm). These results conformed with the predictions of power transfer theory and underscored the need to calibrate PAEDs to stream conductivities to standardize the effective sampling range.