Stationary receiver data was collected to measure striped bass distribution in Plum Island Estuary during the time period that they are in New England during their summer foraging migration. Acoustic telemetry was used to tag and detect individual fish throughout the estuary.
TAGGING The distribution of 50 striped bass (mean total length = 510 ± 48 mm; range = 403 to 597 mm) was quantified with VEMCO V13-R64k coded acoustic transmitters (frequency of 69 kHz, a ping rate of 60 to180 s, estimated tag life of one year). Striped bass were caught via hook-and-line on June 17-18, 2009 (N = 30) and June 29 (N = 20). Using clove oil as the anesthetic (1.5 μL of clove oil/L of water; mean application time = 8.9 min, SE = 1.1 min; Cooke et al. 2004, Pautzke et al. 2010), fish were first weighed (g) and measured (TL, mm). Tags were then surgically implanted (Bridger and Booth 2003) using a sterile scalpel to make a 2–3-cm incision 2 cm above the ventral midline and approximately 1.5 cm behind the pelvic fin. Through this opening, a transmitter was inserted into the peritoneal cavity and the incision was closed with three stitches using sterile dissolvable sutures (Ethicon Monocryl violet monofilament suture with 3/8” curved cutting needle). After tagging, each striped bass was injected with oxytetracycline (0.1 mg/kg of fish; Liquamycin; Pfizer, New York; Callahan 2009) and placed in a recovery tank filled with ambient temperature estuary water until the fish swam upright (mean recovery time = 21.3 min; SE = 1.2 min). All tagged fish were released upon recovery at the approximate site of capture. Stationary Receivers Seven VEMCO VR2W stationary receivers were deployed throughout the estuary to gate major exits, river confluences, and islands of Plum Island estuary. Stationary receivers were moored to the bottom of the estuary using cement paving stones and an anchor. Stationary receivers were deployed before fish were tagged in June 2009, and removed in early November, 2009, after no fish had been detected at any of the receivers for at least two weeks. The receivers, continuously recorded the individual fish tag number, time, and date of all detected fish within range, and were downloaded every two weeks. Detection data was pooled for all receivers and individual daily presence or absence was determined.
Measurements complete in 2009
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