Event Title

Effectiveness of Utilizing Volunteers for a Large Scale Telemetry Study on Brown Trout in the Au Sable River, MI

Location

Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall

Start Date

16-4-2013 3:30 PM

Description

PURPOSE: Radio telemetry has been used effectively to track trout movement and determine habitat use. However, telemetry studies are labor intensive and tracking large numbers of fish over wide regions during both day and night time is imperative to gain insight into the organism. METHODS: During 2012, we initiated a two-year telemetry study to track 35 different brown trout (Salmo trutta) spread over the Mainstream, South Branch, and North Branch of the Au Sable River, Michigan. Fish are being located at least every three days, in both day and night time during the summer, and every week during the fall. We have relied on a number of volunteers from local conservation groups as well as the general public to assist, particularly on the South and North Branch. Volunteers are from the local area, state, and out of state and have logged over 500 hours since July. Volunteers often have good technical skills and with modest initial training by individuals with telemetry experience, have become proficient at tracking trout. These volunteers also have exchanged volunteer-to-volunteer training, in order to increase the number of participants, and effectively increase the interest in the project. Fish tracking has been successful and data collection has been consistent. CONCLUSIONS: As funding to support field work becomes less available, enlisting committed volunteers may provide much needed support for future fisheries research.

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Apr 16th, 3:30 PM

Effectiveness of Utilizing Volunteers for a Large Scale Telemetry Study on Brown Trout in the Au Sable River, MI

Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall

PURPOSE: Radio telemetry has been used effectively to track trout movement and determine habitat use. However, telemetry studies are labor intensive and tracking large numbers of fish over wide regions during both day and night time is imperative to gain insight into the organism. METHODS: During 2012, we initiated a two-year telemetry study to track 35 different brown trout (Salmo trutta) spread over the Mainstream, South Branch, and North Branch of the Au Sable River, Michigan. Fish are being located at least every three days, in both day and night time during the summer, and every week during the fall. We have relied on a number of volunteers from local conservation groups as well as the general public to assist, particularly on the South and North Branch. Volunteers are from the local area, state, and out of state and have logged over 500 hours since July. Volunteers often have good technical skills and with modest initial training by individuals with telemetry experience, have become proficient at tracking trout. These volunteers also have exchanged volunteer-to-volunteer training, in order to increase the number of participants, and effectively increase the interest in the project. Fish tracking has been successful and data collection has been consistent. CONCLUSIONS: As funding to support field work becomes less available, enlisting committed volunteers may provide much needed support for future fisheries research.