Submitted to: North American Journal of Fisheries Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/16/2007
Publication Date: 3/6/2008
Citation: Fuller, S.A., Henne, J., Seals, J., Mudrak, V. 2008. Performance of commercially available Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tag systems used for fish identification and interjurisdictional fisheries management. North American Journal of Fisheries Management. 28(2):386-393. Interpretive Summary: Passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag systems are commonly used for identification and monitoring programs with fisheries applications. Tags of different frequencies, sizes, and formats are available from numerous manufacturers. Some managers have become concerned that efforts to tag fish need to be coordinated using similar equipment. We tested 20 tag models and 11 reader models that are currently used in the United States to see which ones can be used together and which ones seem to work the best for bigger fish. Compatibility among tags and readers varied a lot in this study. There were differences in how far away the reader could read the tag, which is important when putting tags in fish that grow to a large size. Which reader model you choose appears to allow for the greatest practical increase in read distance. These results should assist managers with decisions in coordinating tagging efforts that these tags, especially those involving long-lived fish where these tags will be around for a while, or fish managed by multiple agencies where there could be many people collecting information from the same fish.
Technical Abstract: Passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag systems are commonly used for identification and monitoring programs with fisheries applications. Transponders of different frequencies, sizes, and code formats are available from numerous manufacturers, and there is an increasing concern regarding the need to coordinate tagging efforts with appropriate equipment. Given the high cost of PIT tag systems and the adverse management implications of using incompatible equipment, we evaluated the performance of 20 transponder models and 11 transceiver models that are currently used in the United States. Compatibility among transceivers ranged from 14 – 81% when evaluated with the 21 transponders in the present study. Maximum read distance across all tags and tag readers averaged 9.5 cm (range = 2.0 - 31.3 cm), and there was a significant (p < 0.01667) difference in maximum read distance among tag reader and tag type combinations. Both transponder size and frequency significantly affected maximum read distance, but transceiver model choice appeared to allow for the greatest practical increase in read distance. These results should assist resource managers with decisions regarding the coordination of tagging efforts that utilize PIT tag systems, particularly those involving long-lived or interjurisdictional species.