We measured the critical swimming speed of juvenile white sturgeons Acipenser transmontanus equipped with externally attached dummy ultrasonic transmitters and of untagged control fish in the laboratory. White sturgeons ranging from 31.9 to 37.0 cm fork length were subjected to one of three treatments: control (handled but not tagged), tag attached below the dorsal fin, and tag attached with the anterior insertion point between the fourth and fifth dorsal scutes. Although transmitters were of recommended weight, we found that the swimming performance of tagged white sturgeons was significantly less than that of untagged control fish. Swimming performance of tagged fish was not differentially affected by tag location. Our results suggest that data from ultrasonic telemetry studies of externally tagged juvenile white sturgeons should be interpreted with caution due to the reduced swimming performance caused by external transmitters.
Additional publication details
Influence of externally attached transmitters on the swimming performance of juvenile white sturgeon