You want your fish to be no worse for wear after being tagged, and we have developed our surgical techniques to ensure this. Our surgical taggers are some of the most experienced available, and their knowledge and skills can save you years of your own time, and provide you peace of mind; you know that the animals you are studying are being handled and tagged with the utmost care and respect, using the most up-to-date techniques – minimizing surgery times, protecting the fish using appropriate drug concentrations, ensuring recovery before release. We supply mobile, field-ready tagging stations, set up to maximize efficient procedures, decrease drug exposure time and increase post-tagging survival.
Any animal larger than a salmon smolt (>110mm) can be tagged with the smallest VEMCO tag currently available, the V6 transmitter. Our mortality studies show that when implanted with an appropriately sized tag, on average 99% of tagged animals survive from tagging to release. Longer-term tag retention studies show that survival, tag retention, swimming performance and physical condition is excellent for tagged animals (e.g. Chittenden et al. 2009; Rechisky, E.L., and Welch, D.W 2010).
Larger tags can be applied to larger animals. As part of the Study Design, Kintama can advise on the optimal tag size, and tag programming appropriate for your animals and study objectives.
If your research requires an integrated tag retention, mortality or health study, we can design and execute that as well. These studies can be run using the less expensive “dummy acoustic tags” (DATs).