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Juvenile Salmon Acoustic Telemetry System

The Juvenile Salmon Acoustic Telemetry System (JSATS) employs acoustic transmitters and receiving systems to remotely track fish in one, two, or three dimensions. Development of the system was initiated in 2001 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Portland District by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and NOAA Fisheries. The goal was to create an acoustic transmitter small enough for implantation in the smallest migratory individuals of the juvenile Chinook salmon and steelhead populations of the Columbia River basin. The JSATS has been used to monitor the behavior, movement, habitat use, and survival of juvenile salmonids migrating from freshwater (through rivers, reservoirs, and past hydroelectric dams) into saltwater. Although the JSATS initially was developed and used extensively to study salmonids, its utility is applicable to a wide range of aquatic species. The JSATS has also been used to monitor the behavior of channel catfish, smallmouth bass, northern pikeminnow, and walleye.

Current and previous applications of the JSATS illustrate the versatility of the system:

  • Estimation of survival and travel time of juvenile salmon migrating more than 800 km of freshwater river, reservoir, estuary, and marine habitat
  • Assessment of survival and habitat use of juvenile salmonids migrating through an estuarine environment
  • Determination of impacts of ferry terminals on juvenile salmonid movements in salt water
  • Estimation of route-specific dam passage survival of juvenile salmonids
  • Observation of predator�prey interactions
  • Evaluation of fish guidance and passage structures at hydroelectric dams using detailed 3D tracking
  • Monitoring of delayed mortality of juvenile salmonids transported past hydroelectric dams in barges.

Juvenile Salmon Acoustic Telemetry System

System components