Pathologic and physiologic effects associated with long-term intracoelomic transmitters in captive Siberian sturgeon

North American Journal of Fisheries Management
By: , and 



Intracoelomic transmitters are commonly used to evaluate migratory patterns, distribution, and habitat use of many species of fish. Currently, transmitter implantation relies mostly on the assumption that transmitters do not cause any adverse physiological or pathological effects on the animal. To investigate these effects, we surgically implanted 60 Siberian Sturgeon Acipenser baeri with transmitters that weighed less than 2% of their body weight. Postoperative assessments were conducted at 1, 2, 8, 12, 26, and 55 weeks to evaluate surgical healing and transmitter retention. Blood samples were collected before and after the 55-week study for serum cortisol analysis. Overall transmitter loss was 32%. Minor to moderate adhesions were noted at necropsy but did not appear to affect organ function. One fish was noted to have an intraintestinal transmitter at necropsy, but the fish was in overall good health. Long-term transmitter presence does not appear to increase serum cortisol levels or affect overall growth more than nontransmitter fish. Although long-term telemetry studies can be undertaken with minimal concern for negative physiological or pathological effects from transmitters, researchers should be aware that transmitter loss rates may be higher than previously thought. Mechanisms for transmitter loss may include expulsion through the surgical incision, expulsion through the mucocutaneous junction between the large intestine and the vent, or intraintestinal capture and expulsion through the vent. Received February 10, 2013; accepted June 10, 2013

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Pathologic and physiologic effects associated with long-term intracoelomic transmitters in captive Siberian sturgeon
Series title North American Journal of Fisheries Management
DOI 10.1080/02755947.2013.815668
Volume 33
Issue 5
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher American Fisheries Society
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description 9 p.
First page 869
Last page 877
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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