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Development and use of in-stream PIT-tag detection systems to assess movement behavior of fish in tributaries of the Columbia River Basin, USA

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Abstract

We have developed detector systems for fish implanted with Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags to assess their movement behavior and habitat use within fast flowing streams. Fish tested have primarily been wild anadromous and resident forms of rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss and cutthroat trout O. clarki. Longitudinal arrangements of two- and six-antennas allow determination of direction of movement and efficiency of detection. Our first detector system became operational in August 2001, with subsequent improvements over time. In tests with a two-antenna system, detection efficiency of tagged, downstreammoving fish was high (96%) during low flows, but less (69%) during high flows. With an increase in the number of antennas to six, arranged in a 2x3 array, the detection efficiency of downstream-moving fish was increased to 95-100% at all flows. Detection efficiency of upstream-moving fish was high (95-100%) in both the two-and six-antenna system during all flows. Antennas were anchored to the substrate and largely spanned the bank-full width. Modifications to the methods used to anchor antennas have increased the likelihood of the system remaining intact and running at full detection capability during challenging flow and debris conditions, largely achieving our goal to have continuous monitoring of fish movement throughout an annual cycle. In August 2004, we placed a similar detector system in another watershed. Success has much relied on the quality of transceivers and electrical power. Detection of tagged fish passing our static PIT-tag detectors has produced valuable information on how selected fish species use the network of streams in a watershed. Integrating information from our detectors in tributary streams with that from detectors downstream at dams in the Columbia River has promise to be a powerful tool for monitoring movement patterns of anadromous fish species and to understanding full lifecycle fish behavior and habitat use.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Development and use of in-stream PIT-tag detection systems to assess movement behavior of fish in tributaries of the Columbia River Basin, USA
Year Published 2005
Language English
Contributing office(s) Western Fisheries Research Center
Description 4 p.
First page 217
Last page 220
Conference Title 5th International Conference on Methods and Techniques in Behavioral Research
Conference Location Wageningen, Netherlands
Conference Date 30 August - 2 September 2005