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Tagging Flounder


Morgan Hart <[log in to unmask]>


Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>


Fri, 21 Aug 2015 21:31:41 +0200





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Hello everyone,

This is my first Fish-Sci post.

The basis of my master’s project is to track the movement and survival of
Southern Flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma) using Vemco V-9 acoustic
transmitters (9 X 29 mm).

Other published tracking studies have tagged flatfish by attaching devices
either internally (surgical implant) or externally (pins through the body
musculature). I have performed several tank trials at ambient (29-30 oC)
water temperatures and have had fairly poor survival using both methods.
The literature on tagging flounder, especially in warmer waters, is sparse.

I have some questions that I hope someone can help me with.

1) Are there any studies on the benefits / drawbacks of internal vs.
external tag attachment in flatfish >300mm? (Differences in survival,
growth, movement or tag fouling?)

2) Are there any studies on flounder, or similar species, examining the
effects of temperature on post-release survival after surgery / tagging (or
capture, by itself)? (Is there a “magic” temperature below which southern
flounder will almost certainly survive?)

3) Are there studies examining survival of surgery in the wild vs in
tanks? (Fish released into the wild may be more susceptible to predation
immediately post-release, whereas those in tanks may be stressed by
unnatural conditions).

4) Are there any studies comparing tags applied to sedated vs non-
sedated fish? (For quick, 3-4 min surgical procedures, could using
anesthesia be more stressful than not using it?).

From my findings so far, my impression is that external tagging is quicker
and less stressful, and that repeating trials at lower fall temperatures (<25
oC?) will show much better survival. The acoustic tags are ~$300 each, so
I don’t want to put dead fish out there.

Thank You

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