Technical FOCUS : use of RFID technology (PIT-tags or transponders) in fish migration study
SCIMABIO has an extensive experience in using transponders (PIT-tags) and in implementing RFID technology applied to fish. This technology has been used for decades in scientific programs, but only recently has it made its way into management issues. Its implementation in management programs is not easy, and requires a few precautions. A scientific support is essential all along the project, from the designing of effective systems, through their correct functioning, and all the way to the organization, validation and analysis of all gathered data. SCIMABIO, as knowledge broker and specialist in the transfer of technologies between science and management, offers its expertise and its know-how in this new field.
We have conceived and installed a large number of different systems, in natural conditions (rivers, lakes…) or in man-made environments (fish passages, lifts, culverts, weirs, bridges…), and our experience combines fixed and mobile monitoring. We have been commissioned directly by managers (fishing federations, hydropower producers, Swiss cantons), by public authorities, as well as in support of other contractors (consultancy firms) and in research programs (INRA, hepia Geneva). This feedback from experience allows to us offer tailored solutions to our clients’ needs and issues. We can guarantee them precious time saving, as well as an issue-oriented design, thus ensuring the quality of the gathered data.
We offer our know-how in :
- Experimental designs and installation tutorials of monitoring devices (ahead of the project) ;
- Design and production of all types of tailored antennas, whether circular or rectangular, experience in building large-scale antennas, set-up in natural or man-made environments, ‘pass-through’ or ‘pass-over’ antennas… ;
- Adaptation of power supplies to sites and antennas specificities (adapted voltage, line- or battery-powered, pico-turbine, solar panels) ;
- Development of specific modules to download data (remote downloading) ;
- Organization of marking campaigns (from hundreds to thousands of individuals) : trout marking possible from 55mm, intra-peritoneal or intramuscular implants, we hold the necessary diplomas to experiment on aquatic species, and respect the hygiene and wild animals manipulation rules ;
- Evaluation of the efficiency of set monitoring devices and integration of detection probabilities in gathered data set ;
- Organization, validation and statistical treatment of data set.
In answer to the variety of needs and situations, we offer different kit products corresponding to different levels of involvement in a project.
Our experience with RFID technology applies to :
- Evaluation of efficiency in fish obstacle-crossing upstream and downstream (fishways or fish elevators, block ramps, chute and escape hatch) ;
- Evaluation of efficiency in fish obstacle-crossing (weirs, culverts, bridges,…) ;
- Displacement and migration studies on a given territory (interactions between river or/and lake and their tributaries, identification of thermal or hydraulic shelters, access to spawning grounds or dispersal of the juvenile population…) ;
- Local and ground-based studies on population estimates by setting up a capture-mark-recapture protocol ;
- Long-term studies on the dynamics and functioning of populations : estimating seasonal survival rates at different stages of the life cycle, average growth and migration rates… ;
- Experimentations in a controlled environment to complement field studies to validate the methodology used (PDF).
Whether you are :
…A stakeholder or owner of a fish-crossing device who needs to evaluate its efficiency ;
…A leader of a project on fish continuity or on the monitoring of fish-crossing obstacles ;
…A manager of habitats and populations who wishes to ascertain dynamics and functioning of a species, its abundance levels and scale of migrations ;
…A consultancy firm or stakeholder interested in offering this technology in their submissions ;