Smaller acoustic tags improve salmon tracking

By on February 19, 2015
Small acoustic tags, about the length of two grains of rice, will be used to track salmon. (Credit: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

Scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed lightweight acoustic tags that are each about the size of two grains of rice, according to Gizmag. The small tags will be used to better track the movements of salmon as they swim through hydroelectric dams.

The new tags are around a third of the size of larger tags of the past that sometimes harmed salmon when they were injected.

The PNNL-designed tags have transducers that produce intermittent beeping sounds that are picked up by acoustic receivers placed in and around dams. Along with the transducer, each tag includes a custom 3-volt battery, circuit board and temperature sensor.

Each tiny new tag can be implanted in about 20 seconds, reducing the time and stress placed on fish undergoing the procedure. The smaller tags also leave minimized incisions that can heal faster than larger ones required for bigger tags.

Top image: Small acoustic tags, about the length of two grains of rice, will be used to track salmon. (Credit: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

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