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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Evaluation of Visible Implant Elastomer Tags in Wild Coastal Cutthroat Trout in the Marine Environment

Losee, James P.; Faulkner, Hannah S.; Seamons, Todd R.


We evaluated the detectability of visible implant elastomer (VIE) tags in Coastal Cutthroat TroutOncorynchus clarkii clarkiiin the marine environment by comparing visually identified recaptures from VIE tags with known recaptures that were identified through genotype matching. A total of 89 individual Coastal Cutthroat Trout were marked in the lower jaw with colored VIE tags, sampled for genetics, and recaptured across 12 months in 2015. The rate of correspondence between the VIE tags and genetic matches was 92% (82/89) of the recaptured Coastal Cutthroat Trout in the nearshore marine environment. We found that red- and blue-colored VIE tags were detected at a higher rate (100%) than were yellow- and orange-colored tags (87.3% and 90.6%, respectively). In contrast, tag type (single or double), tag location (left or right), fish length (FL, mm), and time (days) since tagging had no effect on tag detectability during the study period. All of the tag colors were recovered for the maximum life of the study (up to 342 days). In all of the cases of nondetections (5/89), the tags were not identified upon initial recapture or subsequent capture events, suggesting that they were lost or not visible immediately upon insertion in the field-as opposed to being unidentified due to the degradation of tag detectability over time. The results of this study suggest that VIE tags have the potential to be detectable in juvenile and adult Coastal Cutthroat Trout for at least 12 months after insertion, with blue and red performing the best. Additional monitoring extending beyond 12 months after tagging would be necessary to identify the maximum life of VIE tags.

Published in

North American Journal of Fisheries Management
2020, Volume: 40, number: 6, pages: 1443-1450
Publisher: WILEY

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Fish and Wildlife Management

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