Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 96, Issue 2–3, pp 135–143 | Cite as

The effects of surgically implanted acoustic transmitters on laboratory growth, survival and tag retention in hatchery yearling Chinook salmon

  • Arnold J. AmmannEmail author
  • Cyril J. Michel
  • R. Bruce MacFarlane


Telemetry has proven an effective means for studying the movement of fishes, however, biases associated with tagged animals requires careful scrutiny if accurate conclusions are to be made from field studies. The objective of this study was to evaluate growth, survival, and tag retention in hatchery yearling Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) juveniles with intracoelomic surgically implanted acoustic transmitters representing 2.6 to 5.6% of body weight. The first trial consisted of three treatments; passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag-only (25 fish), acoustic-tag+PIT-tag (25 fish), and sham-surgery+PIT-tag (25 fish). There were no significant differences in relative growth rate (% change in weight day−1) among treatments over the 221 day trial. Survival in the acoustic-tag treatment (80%) was not significantly different from the PIT-tag-only and sham treatments (92 and 88% respectively). The second trial consisted of three treatments; PIT-tag-only (22 fish), acoustic-tag+PIT-tag with absorbable sutures (12 fish) and acoustic-tag+PIT-tag with non-absorbable sutures (12 fish). There were no significant differences in relative growth rate among treatments over the 160 day trial. Survival in the second trial was 100%. Fish with absorbable sutures healed sooner and with less inflammation compared to fish with non-absorbable sutures. Tag retention was 100% in both trials. The results of this study suggest that acoustic transmitters of less than 5.6% body weight can be effectively used in 1-year old Chinook salmon.


Chinook salmon Juvenile Acoustic transmitter Tag effects 



This manuscript was greatly improved by the comments of two anonymous reviews, to which we are sincerely grateful. Statistical advice provided by E.J. Dick, A. Pike, and K. Mull. We thank the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Coleman National Fish Hatchery, especially K. Brown and S. Hamelburg for providing the fish and facilities used in this study. We thank A.P. Klimley of UC Davis for housing fish during a portion of the first trial. We thank H. Fish and E. Sturm for laboratory assistance and support. We thank P. Brandes for providing the active transmitters use in the second trial. Reference to trade names does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. (outside the USA) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arnold J. Ammann
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cyril J. Michel
    • 1
  • R. Bruce MacFarlane
    • 1
  1. 1.Fisheries Ecology Division, National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest Fisheries Science CenterSanta CruzUSA

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