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Title: A comparison of implantation methods for large PIT tags or injectable acoustic transmitters in juvenile Chinook salmon

The miniaturization of acoustic transmitters may allow greater flexibility in terms of the size and species of fish available to tag. New downsized injectable acoustic tags similar in shape to passive integrated transponder tags can be rapidly injected rather than surgically implanted through a sutured incision, as is current practice. Before wide-scale field use of these injectable transmitters, standard protocols to ensure the most effective and least damaging methods of implantation must be developed. Three implantation methods were tested in various sizes of juvenile Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tschawytscha. Methods included a needle bevel-down injection, a needle bevel-up injection with a 90-degree rotation, and tag implantation through an unsutured incision. Tagged fish were compared to untagged control groups. Weight and wound area were measured at tagging and every week for 3 weeks; holding tanks were checked daily for mortalities and tag losses. No differences among treatments were found in growth, tag loss, or survival, but wound area was significantly reduced among incision-treated fish. The bevel-up injection had the worst results in terms of tag loss and wound area and also had high mortality. Implantation through an incision resulted in the lowest tag loss but the highest mortality. Fish from the bevel-downmore » treatment group had the least mortality; wound areas also were smaller than the bevel-up treatment group. Cumulatively, the data suggest that the unsutured incision and bevel-down injection methods were the most effective; the drawbacks of both methods are described in detail. However, we further recommend larger and longer studies to find more robust thresholds for tagging size that include more sensitive measures.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Fisheries Research, 154: 213–223
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
Telemetry; injection; salmonid; surgery; tagging