We compared the effects of two antenna placements (trailing and nontrailing) and antibiotic treatments (treated and nontreated) on mortality and transmitter loss in hybrid striped bass Morone saxatilis ?? M. chrysops (364 ?? 28 mm total length, 645 ?? 129 g [mean ?? SD]) implanted with simulated transmitters and held in the laboratory for 90 d. Although antibiotic treatment significantly increased the time to first mortality in fish surgically implanted with simulated transmitters (by an average of 14 d), we did not detect an effect on cumulative mortality. We also did not detect an effect of antenna type on the time to first mortality, but cumulative mortality was higher in the trailing antenna groups (50%) than in the nontrailing antenna groups (12%). Three transmitters were expelled during the study, all from trailing-antenna treatment groups, indicating a significant effect of antenna placement on the level of transmitter expulsion. Antibiotic treatment appears to be effective in preventing initial postsurgical infection; however, the antenna may serve as a continuous source of irritation and route of infection into the body cavity. The potential for infection and mortality in experimental animals must be weighed against the improved performance of transmitters with trailing antennas.
Additional publication details
Effects of antenna placement and antibiotic treatment on loss of simulated transmitters and mortality in hybrid striped bass