Evaluation of a field protocol for internally-tagging fish predators using difficult-to-tag ictalurid catfish as examples

North American Journal of Fisheries Management
By: , and 



Tagging protocols that result in high tag retention will benefit fisheries professionals who use telemetry data. Ictalurid catfish historically have had very poor telemetry tag retention. Here, we use these difficult-to-tag taxa to address two research objectives. First, we evaluated our field-based internal tagging methodology by quantifying six tag retention metrics using data from 48 acoustically-tagged blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) released into Milford Reservoir, KS, USA. Second, to better understand the results of this field evaluation, we evaluated tag retention and survival in the hatchery for the closely-related channel catfish (I. punctatus). Field and hatchery studies provided complementary information. Eighty percent of tagged blue catfish were detected at the end of our 5-mo field study (1,139,402 = total detections; 24,243 = average detections per fish). A 13-week hatchery evaluation of our field methodology also had high tag retention (100%). Hatchery treatments that used a lateral-ventral incision had higher tag retention and survival than those treatments that included a mid-ventral incision. Time invested in training, protocol refinement, and field organization were also important. Furthermore, monitoring the surgical history and recovery of individual fish allowed us to correct problems before mortality occurred. Because a need exists for a range of internal tagging methodologies that are effective on an assortment of fish species tagged under a variety of circumstances, our high tag retention methodology may be useful to the expanding research community that studies native and non-native catfish, as well as, other telemetry researchers who seek beneficial refinements to their tagging protocols.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Evaluation of a field protocol for internally-tagging fish predators using difficult-to-tag ictalurid catfish as examples
Series title North American Journal of Fisheries Management
DOI 10.1016/j.fishres.2018.09.003
Volume 209
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Seattle
Description 9 p.
First page 58
Last page 66
Country United States
State Kansas
Other Geospatial Milford Reservoir
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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