Pop-up archival transmitting (PAT) tags: A method to investigate the migration and behavior of Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) in the Gulf of Alaska

Alaska Fishery Research Bulletin
By: , and 

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Abstract

Pop-up archival transmitting (PAT) tags provide a fisheries-independent method of collecting environmental preference data (depth and ambient water temperature) and migration distance. In this study, we evaluate the use of pop-up archival transmitting tags as a method to investigate demersal fish. We report the results from eight pop-up archival transmitting tagged Pacific halibut Hippoglossus stenolepis (from 107 to 165 cm FL) that were released in and around Resurrection Bay, Alaska. Commercial fishermen recovered three tags, while five tags transmitted data to Argos satellites. Horizontal migration was not consistent among fish as four Pacific halibut remained in the vicinity of release while the other four traveled up to 358 km from the release site. Vertical movement was not consistent among fish or over time; however, they spent most of their time at depths of 150 to 350 m. The minimum and maximum depths reached by any of the Pacific halibut were 2 m and 502 m, respectively. The fish preferred water temperatures of approximately 6°C, but experienced temperatures between 4.3 and 12.2°C. Light attenuation with depth prevented geolocation software and light sensing hardware from accurately estimating geoposition for the majority of days. The methods, adapted from investigations on large pelagic fish, proved to be effective for studying Pacific halibut in the northern Gulf of Alaska. PAT tags allowed us to obtain high accuracy locations of the fish at the end of the tag deployments as well as preliminary data to identify approximate seasonal locations and to characterize their depth and temperature characteristics. By using PAT tags, we will be able to ensure tag returns during the winter season (which is closed to fishing) and gain valuable biological information even if fish migrate large distances or to unexpected locations.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Pop-up archival transmitting (PAT) tags: A method to investigate the migration and behavior of Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) in the Gulf of Alaska
Series title Alaska Fishery Research Bulletin
Volume 10
Issue 2
Year Published 2003
Language English
Publisher Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center
Description 13 p.
First page 124
Last page 136