Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 679
Title: Effects of gastric and surgical insertions of dummy ultrasonic transmitters on juvenile Chinook salmon in seawater
Author: Jason E. Hall, Joshua W. Chamberlin, Anna N. Kagley, Correigh M. Greene, Kurt L. Fresh
Publication Year: 2009
Journal: Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
Volume: 138
Issue: 1
Pages: 52-57

The objective of this study was to develop guidance for tagging methods for juvenile Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha in their first ocean year by evaluating the effects of tagging during this critical life stage.  We compared survival over 42 d among juvenile hatchery Chinook salmon receiving surgically implanted dummy ultrasonic transmitters (equivalent to VEMCO V7–1 L tags) ranging from 2.6 to 8.8% of body mass with that of fish receiving gastrically implanted tags.  Survival was significantly lower in fish receiving gastrically implanted transmitters (21%) than for the gastric–sham (66%), surgery (61%), surgery-sham (58%), and control treatments (90%).  Survival was also significantly higher in the control treatment than in all other treatments.  The results of this study indicate that surgical insertion into the peritoneal cavity is the preferred method of transmitter implantation in juvenile Chinook salmon in their first ocean year and that the transmitters should be less than 5.8% of the fish's body mass to reduce transmitter–related mortality.

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