Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics

, 11:183

Correcting bias in survival estimation resulting from tag failure in acoustic and radiotelemetry studies


    • School of Aquatic and Fishery SciencesUniversity of Washington
  • John R. Skalski
    • School of Aquatic and Fishery SciencesUniversity of Washington
  • Peter Dillingham
    • Department of Mathematics and StatisticsUniversity of Otago
  • Tracey W. Steig
    • Hydroacoustic Technology, Inc.

DOI: 10.1198/108571106X111323

Cite this article as:
Townsend, R.L., Skalski, J.R., Dillingham, P. et al. JABES (2006) 11: 183. doi:10.1198/108571106X111323


The high detection rates of acoustic- and radio-tagged fish greatly improve the ability of an investigator to obtain information on survival and movement of fish with fewer tags. The trade-off, though, is a greater dependence on the individual tag performance, as each tagged fish in a smaller study represents a greater proportion of the outcome. This reduction in release size, due to the increase in detection capability, places a greater emphasis on the need to accurately gauge the status of the tagged fish. Should a tag fail while a smolt is migrating through the study area, the release-recapture model cannot discern the difference between smolt death and tag failure. If the release-recapture models are not adjusted for the probability of tag failure, the estimates of smolt survival will therefore be negatively biased. This article presents a semiparametric approach for adjusting survival estimates from release-recapture studies for tag failure, and provides subsequent estimation of sampling variance and its contributing components.

Key Words

BootstrapCormack-Jolly-SeberGompertz distributionMark-recaptureMaximum likelihoodRelease-recapture

Copyright information

© International Biometric Society 2006