Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Display All Information

Document Type: Contract Report
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 7602
Title: Detection of passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags on piscivorous avian colonies in the Columbia River Basin, 2008
Author/Editor: Scott H. Sebring, Richard D. Ledgerwood, Benjamin P. Sandford, Allen F. Evans, Gene M. Matthews
Publication Year: 2010
Publisher: National Marine Fisheries Service
Contracting Agency: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Walla Walla, Washington
Contract Number: 2RL4SPTP00
Keywords: avian predation,estuary predation,PIT detection,salmonids

 In 2008, the National Marine Fisheries Service, in collaboration with Oregon State University and Real Time Research, Inc., recovered passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags from piscivorous bird colonies in the Columbia River basin (CRB). The PIT tags had been implanted in juvenile Pacific salmon Oncorhynchus spp. for studies of survival and migration behavior. Over 114,000 PIT-tag codes with no previous history of detection on an avian colony were recovered during 2008. Of this total, over 87,000 originated from fish released for migration in 2008. Based on these detections, we estimated that avian predators consumed a minimum of 3.7% of the 2.5 million PIT-tagged salmonids released into the CRB for migration during 2008. Nearly 90% of fish were consumed by either Caspian terns Hydroprogne caspia or Double-crested cormorants Phalacrocorax auritas. After adjusting for detection efficiencies on the nesting colonies, we estimated that 4.9% of PIT-tagged juvenile salmonids released for migration during 2008 were consumed by these birds.

Theme: Recovery and rebuilding of marine and coastal species
Foci: Develop methods to use physiological, biological and behavioral information to predict population-level processes.