U.S. awards contracts for fish counting technology

Two U.S. government agencies have awarded contracts to Digital Angel Corp. to provide passive integrated transponder technology and radio frequency identification technology and equipment for fish counting.

The Corps of Engineers awarded a multi-year contract worth up to $10 million to Digital Angel, of South St. Paul, Minn., to supply PIT tag technology to be used in conjunction with a radio frequency identification antenna to monitor fish movement.

Digital Angel said it also received a multi-year contract extension to be the exclusive provider of radio frequency identification technology and equipment to Bonneville Power Administration. Digital Angel previously provided a large RFID reader system, a 17-foot-tall antenna installed at a surface flow bypass system for fish at the Corps’ Bonneville Second Powerhouse.

The reader system uses electronics to track juvenile salmonids passing Bonneville Dam and the 1,147-MW Bonneville hydro facilities on the Columbia River. The antenna captures data from PIT tags inserted into fish passing through the surface flow bypass system.

Since the 1980s, Digital Angel has teamed with BPA and the federal Columbia and Snake River hydroelectric projects to develop, manufacture, and install PIT tags in the salmon population. The company said its technology allows BPA to effectively monitor local salmon populations as they migrate through a river system that includes a network of dams.

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