Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Chapter or Section
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 997
Type of Book: Technical
Section or Chapter Title: A history of telemetry in fishery research
Book Title: Telemetry techniques: a user guide for fisheries research
Author: Eric E. Hockersmith, John W. Beeman
Editor: Noah S. Adams, John W. Beeman, John H. Eiler (Eds.)
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: American Fisheries Society. Bethesda, Maryland
Pages: 7-20

The Bureau of Commercial Fisheries (now National Marine Fisheries Service) reported the first use of telemetry in fishery research 50 years ago. These early studies used acoustic telemetry to examine adult salmonid passage behavior at hydroelectric dams in the Columbia River Basin, although the technology was limited and sample sizes were small (< 50 fish). It was close to a decade later that radio telemetry was first applied to fisheries research. Over the past 50 years advances in electronics and technological developments have led to new research applications using telemetry. Prior to the 1970s, researchers often made their own equipment due to the lack of commercially produced products. During the 1980s, biotelemetry companies proliferated following rapid advances in electronic components. The increased use of biotelemetry combined with the rapid growth in availability of equipment over the past half century has been reflected in an increased prevalence of conferences and publications associated with biotelemetry. Today, telemetry is frequently used to provide critical information and insights regarding migration, behavior, habitat use, passage at barriers, and survival that supports and guides fisheries management decisions. With continued technological innovation, future applications of telemetry will likely provide insights that are currently unavailable.

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Notes: ISBN: 978-1-934874-26-4, 518 pages