Radiotelemetry is a useful tool to describe habitat use by fish, but studies may inaccurately describe microhabitat use due to failure to account for errors when identifying fish locations. We developed a technique that identifies the extent of location errors of a hand-held radiotelemetry system. The ranges of location errors were determined among different observers, between land and water, and at an array of distances (5 - 125 m) between transmitters and receivers. No significant differences occurred among three observers at distances of 100 m or less or between transmitters on land or in water. Location error increased significantly with distance between transmitter and receiver; mean error was 0.5 m at 5 m and 4.5 m at 100 m. The 95th percentile of location errors was 1.5 m at 5 m and 10.5 m at 100 m. The number of trials needed to define location errors within 20% of the true mean (P ??? 0.05) was 109 at 5 m and 46 at 100 m. Determination of location error with radiotelemetry equipment can be conducted by two people on land with a relatively small amount of effort when the results are to be applied to relatively shallow waters.
Additional publication details
A technique for estimating the accuracy of fish locations identified by radiotelemetry