Leveraging Biomark Litz Cord Antenna Systems to Evaluate Fish Passage and Movement

Leveraging Biomark Litz Cord Antenna Systems to Evaluate Fish Passage and Movement

Photos were taken by Mike Hall, Field Biologist.

Biomark’s Biological Services team is leveraging Biomark Litz Cord Antenna Systems to evaluate fish passage and movement in side channels of the Lemhi River.

Field Biologist Mike Hall explained, “We are using these antennas in a recently completed restoration area as well as an area where restoration efforts are slated to begin in the next year or two.”

This will allow the team a great opportunity to gather pre and post restoration data.

The Litz cord antenna systems are set up in “pass-through” orientation allowing the biologists to effectively detect fishes in all portions of the water column at both high and low flows.

We are also utilizing submersible antennas in the main channel of the river for monitoring purposes. 

Want to learn more about what the Biological Services Team does at Biomark?

Biomark Applies Novel Methodology to Endangered Salmon Populations in the Pacific Northwest

Biomark Applies Novel Methodology to Endangered Salmon Populations in the Pacific Northwest

Biomark Applies Novel Methodology to Endangered Salmon Populations in the Pacific Northwest

Research Study Demonstrates Robust, Efficient Approach for Salmonid Conservation



Media Contacts:         

Elsa MacDonald                                                         

+1 (208) 985-4452 | [email protected]

Jeanette Lewis                                                           

+1 (973) 937-5508 | [email protected]

BOISE, Idaho, March 9, 2020 – Biomark today announced the publication of a research study designed to estimate the carrying capacity for juvenile salmon using quantile random forest models, which demonstrate the viability of guiding habitat restoration efforts that could de-list salmon from the endangered species list.

The research study, entitled “Estimating Carrying Capacity for Juvenile Salmon using Quantile Random Forest Models,” [manuscript number ECS20-0483.R1]  was published in Ecosphere, a journal of ecological science and interdisciplinary studies relating to ecology.  

Endangered salmon populations in the Pacific Northwest are facing the loss or degradation of their stream habitat throughout the interior Columbia Basin. Recent published studies have suggested that their recovery may be constrained by a lack of capacity or a lack of high-quality habitat. However, understanding what habitat characteristics define high-quality habitat is confounded by large, convoluted datasets with non-linear relationships, correlated variables and outliers.

“In our research study, a quantile random forest (QRF) model was developed using fish and habitat data from seven watersheds in the Columbia River Basin to estimate life-stage specific habitat-based carrying capacity. This new approach leveraged nearly a decade of detailed habitat data from the Columbia Habitat and Monitoring Program (CHaMP) to determine habitat characteristics that best explain salmon abundance and density, which is used to predict contemporary capacity at those sites and extrapolated throughout the basin,” said primary author Kevin See, Senior Biometrician, Biomark.

While stream habitat rehabilitation actions are taking place in many watersheds within the Columbia River Basin, the potential improvements to carrying capacity for an individual action may not be reflected in observed fish abundances for many years. This research study demonstrates one way to infer the effect restorative actions have in near real time by focusing on how habitat restoration translates  directly to fish capacity. Historically, the response to capacity changes by fish populations may take years or even decades to manifest, making the evaluation of those actions difficult.

As more ecological datasets become available, and the ability to sample large areas of habitat becomes more feasible (e.g., aerial imagery, LiDAR), the QRF framework demonstrated in this study provides a robust structure for using a capacity-based approach to prioritization, implementation and evaluation of habitat rehabilitation actions.

 View the Full Publicaiton Here


About Biomark

Biomark is a worldwide supplier of electronic identification and related monitoring systems to the fish and wildlife conservation communities and aquaculture industry. Biomark is an Aquaculture portfolio of digital products within Merck Animal Health.

Biomark specializes in low frequency RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags also referred to as Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags and related monitoring equipment and services. They integrate these products by focusing on in-house design and manufacturing and providing installation services and maintenance. The monitoring systems collect identification data at specific and strategic locations to provide researchers valuable animal intelligence for management decisions. Biomark also provides specialized services including fish tagging, statistical analysis, software development, study execution, report writing and computational model development to support statistically robust solutions.

Founded in 1990, Biomark continues their specific focus on animal identification and monitoring that enables them to lead the way in product development, innovation and data solutions, positively impacting conservation, restoration and smart management.

Through its commitment to The Science of Healthier Animals®, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest ranges of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services as well as an extensive suite of digitally connected identification, traceability and monitoring products. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals and the people who care for them.

For more information, visit www.biomark.com and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.

Nebraska Game and Parks Mussel Study

Nebraska Game and Parks Mussel Study

From Bryan Sweet, Fish and Wildlife Program Manager – North Platte State Fish Hatchery

Nebraska Game and Parks have been culturing and reintroducing native mussel back into the “wild” for a few years.  All mussels released are tagged to identify hatchery origin.  PIT Tags are used for a portion of the release to allow for recapture.  Locating the general area of the mussels with a Biomark BP Plus antenna worked well, but the pinpoint locating to allow them to be dug from the substrate was somewhat an issue in some streams. 

“Working with the folks at Biomark, we came up with a solution,” said Bryan Sweet.  After explaining the issue, a wand antenna was built that works in conjunction with the BP Plus portable antenna.  A selector switch allows the user to toggle between antennas to easily locate buried mussels.  The second antenna design was to build a dual coil BP Plus antenna; a second small antenna inside the standard antenna, again controlled with a switch.  “So far they have performed well, we have been able to dig all mussels located, whereas in the past only a percentage of the “hits” were located,” explained Sweet.

Our PIT Tags can be used to track just about any species out there. Biomark works hard to come up with the best monitoring solutions for your unique study. Talk with one of our Biomark experts to see what solutions we have for you!

Call or email us today!

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+1 (208) 275-0011