Saturday, August 30, 2008

Skeena steelhead sonic tagging study underway

A steelhead tagging study is underway on the Skeena right now as part of the Independant Science Review Panel's recommendations for improved steelhead stock information.

With funding from the BC Living Rivers Trust Fund and Moore Foundation,BC Ministry of Environment staff have spent the last week applying sonic tags to steelhead the Tyee Test Fishery boat and at the Moricetown Canyon beach seine fishery site. To date 25 tags have been attached at both sites with a target of 50 at each site. 50 tags will also be hopefully placed at the Kitselas Canyon fishwheel site.
The little barrel shaped transmitters, as shown in the image, are attached to the steelhead on the exterior just below the dorsal fin. Receivers are placed upstream and down stream of Kitselas and Moricetown and at numerous other sites along the Skeena and Bulkley rivers. The tags will last for 120 days.
Since information about the steelhead's movement is gathered automatically by the receiver sites, angler catch data is not the primary focus of the study. However, instructions for any anglers capturing a steelhead with a transmitters are: to record the last 3 numbers on the tag only if it can be done without adding undue stress to the fish. Take note of the catch location, tag number, and general condition of the fish also.
Any anglers catching a transmitter equipped steelhead should contact Mark Beere at BC Min.of Environment: or 250-847-7303
Information and pictures courtesy of BC Ministry of Environment

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