U.S. awards PIT tag contract for fish studies in 17 states

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, U.S. 10/04/11 (PennWell) — The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a $3 million contract to Biomark Inc. to supply passive integrated transponder tags and related equipment for fish studies in 17 western states.

Biomark, of Boise, Idaho, is to supply PIT tag equipment for river habitat restoration and endangered fish recovery programs including: Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program, San Juan River Basin Recovery Program, Middle Rio Grande Endangered Species Collaborative Program, Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program, Columbia/Snake Salmon Recovery Program, Trinity River Restoration Program, San Joaquin River Restoration Program, Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program, Platte River Recovery Implementation Program, and the Gila River Basin Native Fishes Conservation Program.

Passive integrated transponder transmitters have been used extensively to track fish as they travel past radio receivers in hydroelectric projects on the mainstem Columbia River. Once researchers implant a PIT tag with microchip in an individual fish, it can be tracked and monitored using readers and antenna to calculate population estimates, life-cycle information, and survival and recruitment data.

“This contract provides another tool to enhance real-time, scientific knowledge about fish behavior that we rely upon to inform our river restoration activities,” Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor said Sept. 26. “River restoration work is an important cornerstone of Reclamation’s efforts throughout the West to ensure the sustainability and health of water resources.”

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