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New system helps explain salmon migration
Date:1/8/2010

and where tagged fish travel. A computer system also calculates the precise 3-D position of tagged fish using data gathered by the receivers.

PIT tags are also implanted into juvenile salmon for migration and survival studies, but don't use batteries to actively transmit signals. Instead, PIT tags send signals when they become energized while passing by PIT transceiver antennas.

For the paper's case study, researchers implanted 4,140 juvenile Chinook salmon with both JSATS and PIT tags. They also placed just PIT tags inside another 48,433 juveniles. All of the case study's tagged fish were released downstream of Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River in April and May 2008.

A significantly greater percentage of JSATS tags were detected than PIT tags, the case study demonstrated. For example, about 98 percent of JSATS-tagged fish were detected at Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River. About 13 percent of PIT-tagged fish were detected in the same stretch of river. As a result, studies using JSATS require using roughly one-tenth as many fish as those employing PIT tags, which helps further conserve the salmon population.

Survival estimates were similar between JSATS and PIT tags. Forty-eight percent of the JSATS-tagged fish were estimated to have survived migration between Lower Granite Dam and Bonneville Dam, which is the last dam on the Columbia before the Pacific Ocean. For PIT-tagged fish, 43 percent were estimated to have reached the same area.

Having flexibility in where receivers can be placed is advantageous, the authors reported. JSATS receivers can be located in both rivers and dams, while PIT antennas usually can only go inside fish bypasses at dams. Researchers can estimate fish survival for an entire river system when receivers are placed in more locations, the paper explains.

The team also compared JSATS' technical features with those of another acoustic telemetry system, the VEMCO system being used for th
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Contact: Franny White
frances.white@pnl.gov
509-375-6904
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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