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Hydroacoustic Technology, Inc.

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Hollo T.,West Marine | Watson B.M.,West Marine | Johnston S.V.,Hydroacoustic Technology, Inc. | Devlin R.H.,West Marine
Journal of Fish Biology | Year: 2017

Underwater acoustic tag telemetry was used to assess behavioural differences between juvenile wild-type (i.e. non-transgenic, NT) and growth hormone (GH) transgenic (T) coho salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch in a contained simulated ocean environment. T O. kisutch were found across days to maintain higher baseline swimming speeds than NT O. kisutch and differences in response to feeding were detected between T and NT genotypes. This is the first study to assess behaviour of GH transgenic salmonids in a marine environment and has relevance for assessing whether behavioural effects of GH overexpression seen in freshwater environments can be extrapolated to oceanic phases of the life cycle. © 2017 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.


Schultz A.A.,Bureau of Reclamation | Kumagai K.K.,Hydroacoustic Technology, Inc. | Bridges B.B.,Bureau of Reclamation
Animal Biotelemetry | Year: 2015

Background: In the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, several salmonid species are listed as threatened or endangered. One potential cause of lower juvenile salmonid survival may be predation by striped bass (Morone saxatilis) and other piscivores. Acoustic telemetry is routinely used to estimate salmonid behavior and survival by releasing and detecting tagged juvenile salmonids with the assumption acoustic-tagged salmon are not consumed by predators. If this assumption is violated, behavior and survival estimates may be misinterpreted. A key consideration is the time taken by an acoustic tag to pass through the digestive tract of a predatory fish. Results: All tagged dead juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) placed into the Tracy Fish Collection Facility (TFCF) primary channel were verified as being consumed by a predator and the tags evacuated from the predator's gut, via evaluation of two-dimensional (2D) tracks and detection signal patterns from single and multiple hydrophones. Tracks and signal patterns simultaneously showed after time of consumption. Salmon were traveling around the primary channel, moving both with and against flow in both a linear and non-linear manner indicative of a free-swimming fish. Given salmon were dead prior to consumption, we feel confident they were inside a predatory fish. Further support for this was provided by two previously tagged striped bass with active tags that consumed tagged dead salmon from our study and an unknown predator that consumed two tagged dead salmon from our study at points about 30 min apart. Mean tag evacuation time was 1.8 days, ranging from 1.2 to 2.7 days (N=14, SD=0.49). Although not significant, we found a suggestive linear relationship (r 2=0.23; df=12; P<0.08) between mean water temperature during tag retention and tag evacuation time. Conclusions: We have strong evidence in the ability to confirm predation and measure the rate at which free-swimming predatory fishes digestively pass acoustic tags that were implanted in Chinook salmon within the TFCF primary channel. Our results have possible application to other areas/systems depending on the physical characteristics of the site, design of the hydrophone array, and methods used. © 2015 Schultz et al.


Romine J.G.,U.S. Geological Survey | Perry R.W.,U.S. Geological Survey | Johnston S.V.,Hydroacoustic Technology, Inc. | Fitzer C.W.,Environmental Science Associates Inc | And 2 more authors.
Animal Biotelemetry | Year: 2014

Background: Consumption of telemetered fishes by piscivores is problematic for telemetry studies because tag detections from the piscivore could introduce bias into the analysis of telemetry data. We illustrate the use of multivariate mixture models to estimate group membership (smolt or predator) of telemetered juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), juvenile steelhead trout (O. mykiss), striped bass (Morone saxatilis), smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) and spotted bass (M. punctulatus) in the Sacramento River, CA, USA. First, we estimated two types of track statistics from spatially explicit two-dimensional movement tracks of telemetered fishes: the Lévy exponent (b) and tortuosity (τ). Second, we hypothesized that the distribution of each track statistic would differ between predators and smolts. To estimate the distribution of track statistics for putative predators and smolts, we fitted a bivariate normal mixture model to the mixed distribution of track statistics. Lastly, we classified each track as a smolt or predator using parameter estimates from the mixture model to estimate the probability that each track was that of a predator or smolt. Results: Tracks classified as predators exhibited movement that was tortuous and consistent with prey searching tactics, whereas tracks classified as smolts were characterized by directed, linear downstream movement. The estimated mean tortuosity was 0.565 (SD=0.07) for predators and 0.944 (SD=0.001) for smolts. The estimated mean Lévy exponent was 1.84 (SD=1.23) for predators and -0.304 (SD=1.46) for smolts. We correctly classified 90% of the Micropterus species and 72% of the striped bass as predators. For tagged smolts, 80% of Chinook salmon and 74% of steelhead trout were not classified as predators. Conclusions: Mixture models proved valuable as a means to differentiate between salmonid smolts and predators that consumed salmonid smolts. However, successful application of this method requires that telemetered fishes and their predators exhibit measurable differences in movement behavior. Our approach is flexible, allows inclusion of multiple track statistics and improves upon rule-based manual classification methods. © 2014 Romine et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Perry R.W.,U.S. Geological Survey | Romine J.G.,U.S. Geological Survey | Adams N.S.,U.S. Geological Survey | Blake A.R.,U.S. Geological Survey | And 3 more authors.
River Research and Applications | Year: 2014

Anthropogenic alterations to river systems, such as irrigation and hydroelectric development, can negatively affect fish populations by reducing survival when fish are routed through potentially dangerous locations. Non-physical barriers using behavioural stimuli are one means of guiding fish away from such locations without obstructing water flow. In the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, we evaluated a bio-acoustic fish fence (BAFF) composed of strobe lights, sound and a bubble curtain, which was intended to divert juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) away from Georgiana Slough, a low-survival migration route that branches off the Sacramento River. To quantify fish response to the BAFF, we estimated individual entrainment probabilities from two-dimensional movement paths of juvenile salmon implanted with acoustic transmitters. Overall, 7.7% of the fish were entrained into Georgiana Slough when the BAFF was on, and 22.3% were entrained when the BAFF was off, but a number of other factors influenced the performance of the BAFF. The effectiveness of the BAFF declined with increasing river discharge, likely because increased water velocities reduced the ability of fish to avoid being swept across the BAFF into Georgiana Slough. The BAFF reduced entrainment probability by up to 40 percentage points near the critical streakline, which defined the streamwise division of flow vectors entering each channel. However, the effect of the BAFF declined moving in either direction away from the critical streakline. Our study shows how fish behaviour and the environment interacted to influence the performance of a non-physical behavioural barrier in an applied setting. Published 2012. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.


Berge J.,IRSTEA | Capra H.,IRSTEA | Pella H.,IRSTEA | Steig T.,Hydroacoustic Technology, Inc. | And 3 more authors.
Fisheries Research | Year: 2012

In situ fixed acoustic telemetry methods make it possible to study simultaneously the detailed movements of individual fish and their relationship to the environment, but the properties of these methods is little known in harsh physical conditions. We examined the probability of tag detection by the system and the positioning error for detected tags of an existing telemetry system installed with 32 fixed hydrophones in a reach of the fast-flowing Rhône River in France. The reach was 1.8. km long and had heterogeneous thermal and hydraulic conditions described by a two-dimensional hydraulic model. We compared positions detected by the system with true positions estimated using a tachometer or a differential GPS, for various sets of experimental tag emissions. We analyzed how the probability of detection and the positioning error were affected by user-defined variables and three groups of environmental variables describing the configuration of the hydrophones around tag position, the physical environment at tag position and the reception quality. Tag emissions from the center channel had an average probability of detection (40-50%) higher than emissions originating from positions close to the banks, and were positioned with smaller average errors (3-5. m). The probability of detection of emissions typically varied between near 0% and 80% with configuration variables (density of surrounding hydrophones and location of tag relative to the hydrophones) and also decreased in the presence of coarse substrate. The positioning error was mainly reduced when user-defined variables of the triangulation software were set by an expert user. Configuration variables also influenced the positioning error with weaker effects than those observed for detection probability. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Skalski J.R.,University of Washington | Townsend R.L.,University of Washington | Steig T.W.,Hydroacoustic Technology, Inc. | Hemstrom S.,Public Utility District No. 1 of Chelan County
North American Journal of Fisheries Management | Year: 2010

Traditional single and paired release-recapture models are incapable of providing unbiased estimates of dam passage survival because their assumptions can never be met. Nevertheless, regulatory requirements mandate the estimation of this important performance measure for migratory fish species passing through hydro projects. We present a new release-recapture model that uses a virtual release of in river migrants known to have arrived at the dam, combined with a paired release below the dam, to estimate dam passage survival. Analytical comparisons of the sampling precision of the proposed virtual-paired release model and an established route-specific model found that the new approach was always more precise for equal release numbers of tagged fish. In a field trial at Rocky Reach Dam, Washington, using smolts of sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka, the new approach estimated dam passage survival with more than twice the precision of the alternative method. The proposed virtual-paired-release design has the potential to provide robust and precise estimates of dam passage survival under a variety of hydro project scenarios. © American Fisheries Society 2010.


Skalski J.R.,University of Washington | Steig T.W.,Hydroacoustic Technology, Inc. | Hemstrom S.L.,Public Utility District No. 1 of Chelan County
Environmental Science and Policy | Year: 2012

Safe fish passage through hydroprojects is of paramount importance in the Pacific Northwest of the United States where anadromous runs of salmon smolts pass through as many as nine dams on the Columbia River on their way to the ocean. Minimum survival standards through the dams or hydroprojects (i.e., reservoir and dam) have been established by the 2008 Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) Biological Opinion or by Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) in order to protect salmon stocks. These federal requirements have prompted the need to conduct scientifically and statistically rigorous and precise smolt survival studies at federally and publicly operated hydroprojects throughout the Snake-Columbia River Basin. Successful studies have been the cooperative results of regulators, hydro managers, fish biologists, engineers, and biometricians working together to conduct these high value investigations. Rock Island Dam, Washington, is used as a case study where a total of 17 release-recapture studies were conducted over a nine-year period on three salmonid species to assess compliance with HCP survival standards. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Patent
Hydroacoustic Technology, Inc. | Date: 2013-01-28

Acoustic tags have been used for years in fisheries research to study survival and behavior of fish in various aquatic environments. The described techniques, devices and systems enhance the ability of researchers to understand the effect on fish mortality by predators through an acoustic tag that includes a digestible fuse. When the implanted acoustic tag comes in contact with the digestive fluids in a predators stomach, the fuse coating is dissolved causing the fuse to disintegrate and result in an open circuit. The open circuit in turn signals the electronics in the acoustic tag that the tagged fish has been consumed. In response, the electronics alter the tag transmit signal to indicate that predation has occurred.


Patent
Hydroacoustic Technology, Inc. | Date: 2015-06-25

Acoustic tags have been used for years in fisheries research to study survival and behavior of fish in various aquatic environments. The described techniques, devices and systems enhance the ability of researchers to understand the effect on fish (or other animals) mortality by predators through an acoustic tag that includes a digestible fuse. When the implanted acoustic tag comes in contact with the digestive fluids in a predators stomach, the fuse coating is dissolved causing the fuse to disintegrate and result in an open circuit. The open circuit in turn signals the electronics in the acoustic tag that the tagged animal has been consumed. In response, the electronics alter the tag transmit signal to indicate that predation has occurred.


Grant
Agency: Department of Commerce | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 91.94K | Year: 2010

Ecosystem-based marine research would benefit from an improved ability to investigate the ecology of marine animal populations on both large and small spatial scales. Acoustic tag monitoring systems are a preferred technology for monitoring animal movement and behavior in the marine environment. However, the marine acoustic tagging systems currently available generally lack precise positioning capabilities, or are limited in the areas over which they can provide these estimates. This research will determine the feasibility of producing an acoustic tag system that can provide precise 2-D and 3-D positions over extended ranges in the marine environment. A wireless and autonomous hydrophone monitoring array approach will be developed, based on existing technology proven in a fresh water environment. A marine acoustic tag design and optimal operating frequency will be determined, based on detection range modeling and field validation experiments.

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