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Growth and Development of the Columbia Basin PIT Tag Information System Growth and Development of the Columbia Basin PIT Tag Information System Overview.

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Presentation on theme: "Growth and Development of the Columbia Basin PIT Tag Information System Growth and Development of the Columbia Basin PIT Tag Information System Overview."— Presentation transcript:

1 Growth and Development of the Columbia Basin PIT Tag Information System Growth and Development of the Columbia Basin PIT Tag Information System Overview The PIT Tag Information System (PTAGIS) receives, stores, correlates, and provides researchers and analysts with data for millions of anadromous salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) and other fish in the Columbia Basin marked with Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags. Each PIT tag is uniquely coded, allowing researchers to monitor the life history of individual fish. Since 1987, PIT tags have been injected into almost 16 million fish, primarily juvenile salmon and steelhead (O. mykiss), in the Columbia Basin. PIT tag antennas are built into the juvenile fish collection and bypass systems and/or adult fishways at most of the mainstem dams, and at many other locations, within the Columbia Basin. These automated interrogation systems passively record the code, date and time, and location of each PIT-tagged fish that passes the antennas. Since 1987, almost 6.3 million individual fish have been detected at one or more of these interrogation sites, generating over 65.8 million detection records. PTAGIS operates the automated PIT tag interrogation sites at, and contributes the detection data from, all of the mainstem fish passage facilities in the Snake and lower Columbia rivers. PTAGIS developed the data collection software programs used to record PIT tag marking and detection events. These software packages verify the data as they are collected in the field. All data are also validated when they are received by PTAGIS. After this second round of inspection and validation, the data are then loaded into the PTAGIS database. Because the server-side validation and loading processes are completely automated, PIT tag mark/recapture data are incorporated into the PTAGIS database immediately upon receipt. Interrogation data are processed every three hours. All data loaded to the PTAGIS database are immediately available on the Internet, from the PTAGIS Web Portal at PTAGIS also supports and administers the Separation by Code (SbyC) program at two adult fish traps and six juvenile fish bypass systems in the Snake and lower Columbia rivers. The SbyC process allows individual tagged fish to be automatically and passively separated from the general population of tagged and untagged fish as they pass through these facilities. The selected fish may be collected as part of a sub-sample, or automatically segregated into test and control groups as part of a paired-release experiment. PIT Tag Marking and Release Activity PIT-tagged fish were first released into the Columbia River Basin in 1987, when 25,000 smolts were tagged during the Spring migration. In 2005, over 1.5 million parr and smolts were PIT-tagged, as well as thousands of other adfluvial, resident, and anadromous fishes, includ- ing kelts and returning adult salmon and steelhead. PIT tags were initially used to augment research and monitoring activities that relied on other marking techniques, such as freeze- branding. PIT tags ultimately replaced these other techniques in most applications. Between 1987 and 1993, PIT tags were used primarily to audit and document the seasonal passage distribution of populations of known stocks of fish, or to assess the travel time of individual tagged smolts from their release, at a hatchery or an in-river trap, to their detection at one of the main interrogation sites at the juvenile fish collection and transportation facilities in the Snake and lower Columbia rivers. In the 1990s, as automated PIT tag diversion gates were installed at the juvenile fish collection (and now bypass) facilities, and as new or expanded detection facilities were built at two sites in the lower Columbia River, researchers began conducting river reach survival studies, and significantly more fish were tagged in support of these studies. New tags, using kHz ISO technology, were first used during the Spring 2000 smolt out-migration. These tags had a greater detection range than the 400 kHz tags used in previous years, allowing for the development of new, larger detection systems in adult fish ladders. Improved detection of returning tagged adults made it feasible to design and implement new transportation evaluation studies, and up to 500k fish have been tagged each year specifically for this purpose. In recent years, PIT tags have been used to mark and track returning adult salmon and steelhead ascending the Columbia and Snake rivers. PIT tags are also used to mark and track an increasing number and diversity of other species throughout the Columbia Basin, including northern pikeminnow, shad, juvenile and adult Pacific lamprey, bull trout, brook trout, and both resident (adfluvial) and anadromous stocks of cutthroat trout. PIT Tag Data Events In addition to information regarding the acquisition and distribution of PIT tags for studies in the Columbia Basin, the records in the PTAGIS data warehouse describes four separate types of events specific to PIT-tagged fish. Tag /Release – Each PIT tag is uniquely associated with a specific tagging event. A description of each fish (including species, stock, size, and condition) is recorded during the tagging procedure. The location and time of release is also reported for each tagged fish. Interrogation – Tagged fish may be passively detected at one or more automated detection locations. These fixed sites record the time of each detection as a tagged fish passes through or past one or more antennas. Recapture – Data for live fish that are observed subsequent to their release are reported to PTAGIS along with any available morphological information. Mortality – Data for dead fish, or for bare PIT tags recovered subsequent to the release event, complete the life history for the PIT-tagged host animal. PIT Tag Interrogation A key component of the Columbia Basin PIT Tag Information System is the ability to passively and automatically detect tagged fish as they migrate up- or downstream. These fixed-site interrogation systems generate the majority of observations for PIT tags marked in the Columbia River Basin. In the 1980s, with the limited read-range afforded by the 400 kHz PIT tags then available, the initial interrogation systems were installed in the juvenile fish collection facilities at Lower Granite, Little Goose, and McNary dams. PIT tag antennas were installed in the facilities’ fish- bearing pipes and flumes, which do not exceed 12” (300mm) in diameter. In the early 1990s, new gates were installed in the flumes at the juvenile fish collection facilities. These gates opened automatically when a PIT- tagged fish was detected, routing the fish back to the river. Additional PIT tag antennas were installed above these gates to increase diversion rates; new and additional antennas were installed below these gates to confirm the passage route of the tagged fish. In 1996, Separation by Code (SbyC) technology was introduced that refined gate operations to allow individual tagged fish to be diverted away from other tagged and untagged fish, and routed either to the river or to a collection tank for physical observation. The introduction of new kHz ISO PIT tags to the Columbia Basin in 2000 spurred the development of new interrogation system geometries that took advantage of the increased read-range of the new tags. Antennas were installed in the weir orifices of fish ladders at many dams. Newer, stronger tags have allowed the development of larger antennas, and these have been installed in the vertical slots and at the counting windows in adult ladders, providing essentially 100% detection for all tagged fish passing upstream. New and innovative interrogation systems have recently been developed and are being installed throughout the Columbia Basin to monitor the movement of multiple species of PIT-tagged fish. A new antenna instal- lation at the Bonneville Dam Corner Collector measures 17’ (8m) square. Note: All information is current as of February, 2006, and subject to change.PTAGIS is a Fisheries Data Project of the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.


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