Ah salmon. Out of all the species HTI has tracked around the world, tracking salmon continues to be an experience of discovery and awe. Salmon are native to the North Atlantic and Pacific Ocean (e.g., Chinook, chum, coho, masu, pink and sockeye) and they’ve been introduced to other areas around the world, including America’s Great Lakes and Patagonia in South America.
For over 30 years HTI biologists have been using sound to study the survival of juvenile salmonids. Beginning on the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest, they designed, built and employed active hydroacoustics (SONAR) to detect the presence, timing and distribution of salmonids at hydropower dams. Over time, new research questions arose inspiring the development of acoustic telemetry for fisheries research.
Acoustic telemetry has become the scientific go-to for tracking the positions of salmonids and other aquatic life in high-resolution 2D and 3D. Having fine-scale tracking capabilities (to 20 cm) detected over large areas (to 1 kilometer), we continue to learn more every year. Scientists have investigated potential obstacles to migration pathways, methods for minimizing mortality, as well as other important behavioral influencers that impact survival. Hundreds of thousands of salmon have been tracked by HTI to-date. To learn more, here are a few good examples.