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Home > Resources & Publications > Newsletters & Magazines > Chenier Ecology > 2007 > 10-07

Resources & Publications:  Chenier Ecology

October 2007

The implant process begins when volunteer anglers catch spotted seatrout, place them in live wells and transport them to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries tagging and implant boat anchored near a predetermined fishing location. The fish is then placed in an anesthetic solution which causes temporary paralysis or unconsciousness, allowing the tagging team time to measure, weigh, dart tag, surgically implant the transmitter and suture the incision closed. This process is completed in 10 minutes or less and the fish is then placed in a recovery tank with water flowing through it. After 12 to 15 minutes in the recovery tank, the fish is released.

Fish movements will be tracked using 50 acoustic receivers placed throughout the Calcasieu estuary. These receivers are suspended from buoy lines or were fastened to channel markers. When an implanted fish travels within 200 to 300 yards of the receiver, the fish’s ID number, the date and time are recorded. Every four to six weeks, data is downloaded and each receiver is cleaned to prevent excessive biofouling.

Preliminary results have shown a wide variety of movements, from resemblance of a small home range to full scale estuary movements and even movements offshore. From May to September, more than 42,000 hits were recorded from 41 fish. It appears that 31 of the original 51 fish are in good condition as they were detected at least two months post-surgery at multiple stations.

The project will continue through 2009, with an additional 60 fish being targeted for tagging and implanting in 2008. Anglers can participate in the program by releasing any fish with an implanted transmitter. Fish with transmitters will be marked with a yellow dart tag that reads “LSU-REWARD-PLEASE RELEASE.” Fishermen catching and releasing a fish with a yellow tag should call 1-800-891-3977 to report the tag number and where and when it was caught. Fishermen providing this information will receive a Louisiana Sport Fish Tagging Program hat and t-shirt, and will be entered in an annual drawing for GPS units and cash prizes up to $500.

To read more about the tagging project visit :

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