Suture-less Implantation of Acoustic Transmitters in Two Salmonids

Suture-less Implantation of Acoustic Transmitters in Two Salmonids

Loading document ...
Loading page ...


Author(s): Michael E. Barnes, Nathan Huysman, Sarah White, Jeremy Kientz, Jill M. Voorhees

Download Full PDF Read Complete Article

DOI: 10.18483/ijSci.2304 24 157 60-64 Volume 9 - Mar 2020


The surgical incision required to insert acoustic transmitters into fish peritoneal cavities is typically closed with sutures, staples, or cyanoacrylate adhesive. This study evaluated a novel tag insertion technique that did not use any method of wound closure. Twenty-six adult rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and 26 adult brown trout (Salmo trutta) received a small, 6 mm abdominal incision. A dummy acoustic transmitter tag was inserted into half (N = 13) of the fish in each species. Neither group received any wound closure; no sutures, staples, nor adhesives were used. Tag retention, wound healing, and fish survival were monitored weekly for 13 weeks post-surgery. No fish died over the course of the trial. Tag retention was 100% and 85% in the tagged rainbow trout and brown trout, respectively. The wounds in the untagged rainbow trout were all completely healed by six weeks post-surgery, while wounds of the tagged rainbow trout were completely healed at nine weeks post-surgery. Similarly, wounds in the untagged and tagged brown trout groups were completely healed by the fifth and eighth weeks respectively. This study documents the effectiveness of using a small incision with no wound closure methods during insertion of acoustic tags into rainbow trout and brown trout peritoneal cavities.


Acoustic Transmitter, Surgery, Rainbow Trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, Brown Trout, Salmo trutta


  1. Baras, E., and D. Jeandrain. 1998. Evaluation of surgery procedures for tagging eel Anguilla Anguilla (L.) with biotelemetry transmitters. Hyrdobiologia 371/372:107-111.
  2. Brown, R.S., S.J. Cooke, W.G. Anderson, and R.S. McKinley. 1999. Evidence to challenge the “2%” rule for biotelemetry. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 19:867-871.<0867:etctrf>;2
  3. Bunnell, D.B., and J.J. Isely. 1999. Influence of temperature on mortality and retention of simulated transmitters in rainbow trout. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 19:152-154.<0152:iotoma>;2
  4. Carmichael, G.J. 1991. Recovery of channel catfish from abdominal surgery. The Progressive Fish-Culturist 53:193-195.<0193:roccfa>;2
  5. Chittenden, C.M., K.G. Butterworth, K.F. Cubitt, M.C. Jacobs, A. Ladouceur, D.W. Welch, and R.S. McKinley. 2009. Maximum tag to body size ratios for an endangered coho salmon (O. kisutch) stock based on physiology and performance. Environmental Biology of Fishes 84:129-140.
  6. Clapp, D.F., R.D. Clark Jr., and J.S. Diana. 1990. Range, activity, and habitat of large, free-ranging brown trout in a Michigan stream. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 119:1022-1034.<1022:raahol>;2
  7. Deters, K.A., R.S. Brown, K.M. Carter, J.W. Boyd, M.B. Eppard, and A.G. Seaburg. 2010. Performance assessment of suture type, water temperature, and surgeon skill in juvenile chinook salmon surgically implanted with acoustic transmitters. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 139:888-899.
  8. Fontenot, D.K., and D.L. Neiffer. 2004. Wound management in teleost fish: biology of the healing process, evaluation, and treatment. The Veterinary Clinics Exotic Animal Practice 7:57-86.
  9. Henderson, H., A.D. Hasler, and G.G. Chipman. 1966. An ultrasonic transmitter for use in the studies of movement of fishes. Transactions in the American Fisheries Society 95:350-356.[350:autfui];2
  10. Hikasa, Y., K. Takase, T. Ogasawara, and S. Ogasawara. 1986. Anesthesia and recovery with tricaine methanesulfonate, eugenol and thiopental sodium in the carp, Cyprinus carpio. Japanese Journal of Veterinary Science 48:431-351.
  11. Jepsen, N., A. Koed, E.B. Thorstad, and E. Baras. 2002. Surgical implantation of telemetry transmitters in fish: how much have we learned. Hydrobiologia 483:239-248.
  12. Jepsen, N., C. Schreck, S. Clements, and E.B. Thorstad. 2005. A brief discussion of the 2% tag/bodymass rule of thumb. In: Spedicato, M.T., G. Lembo, and G. Marmulla (eds) Aquatic Telemetry: Advances and Applications. FAO/COISPA Rome, Italy (225-260).
  13. Klinard, N.V., E.A. Halfyard, A.T. Fisk, T.J. Stewart, and T.B. Johnson. 2018. Effects of surgically implanted acoustic tags on body condition, growth, and survival in a small, laterally compressed forage fish. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 147:749-757.
  14. Knights, B.C., and B.A. Lasse. 1996. Effects of implanted transmitters on adult bluegills at two temperatures. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 125:440-449.<0440:eoitoa>;2
  15. Leber, K.M., and H. L. Blankenship. 2011. How advances in tagging technology improved progress in a new science: marine stock enhancement. American Fisheries Society Symposium 76.
  16. Mulcahy, D.M. 2003. Surgical implantation of transmitters into fish. Institute for Laboratory Animal Research 44:295-306.
  17. Noga, E.J. editor. 2000. Pharmacopoeia. In: Fish disease: diagnosis and treatment. Ames, Iowa, USA. Iowa State Press (271-299).
  18. Paukert, C.P., P.J. Chavala, B.L. Heikes, and M.L. Brown. 2001. Effects of implanted transmitter size and surgery on survival, growth, and wound healing of bluegill. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 125:707-714.<0975:eoitsa>;2
  19. Rechisky, E.L., and D.W. Welch. 2009. Surgical implantation of acoustic tags: influence of tag loss and tag-induced mortality on free ranging and hatchery-held spring Chinook (O. tschawytscha) smolts. In: PNAMP Special Publication: Tagging, telemetry and marking measures for monitoring fish populations - a compendium of new and recent science for use in informing technique and decision modalities. Pacific Northwest Aquatic Monitoring Partnership (1-96).
  20. Schoonyan, A., R.T. Kraus, M.D. Faust, C.S. Vandergoot, S.J. Cooke, H.A. Cook, T.A. Hayden, and C.C. Krueger. 2017. Estimating incision healing rate for surgically implanted acoustic transmitters from recaptured fish. Animal Biotelemetry 5:15.
  21. Schramm, H.L. Jr., and D.J. Black. 1984. Anaesthesia and surgical procedures for implanting radio transmitters into grass carp. Progressive Fish Culturist 46:185-190.<185:aaspfi>;2
  22. Skov, C., J. Brodersen, C. Brönmark, L.A. Hansson, P. Hertonsson, and P.A. Nilsson. 2005. Evaluation of PIT-tagging in cyprinids. Journal of Fish Biology 67:1195-1201.
  23. Smircich, M.G., and J.T. Kelly. 2014. Extending the 2% rule: the effects of heavy internal tags on stress physiology, swimming performance, and growth in brook trout. Animal Biotelemetry 2:16.
  24. Swanberg, T.R., D.A. Schmetterling, and D.H. McEvoy. 1999. Comparison of surgical staples and silk sutures for closing incisions in rainbow trout. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 19:215-218.<0215:cossas>;2
  25. Urbaniak, T.J., M.E. Barnes, and J.L. Davis. 2016. Acoustic transmitters impact rainbow trout growth in a competitive environment. The Open Fish Science Journal 9:37-44.
  26. Wagner, G.N., E.D. Stevens, and P. Byrne. 2000. Effects of suture pattern on surgical wound healing in rainbow trout. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 129:1196-1205.<1196:eostap>;2
  27. Wagner, G.N., S.J. Cooke, R.S. Brown, and K.A. Deters. 2011. Surgical implantation techniques for electronic tags in fish. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 21:71-81.
  28. Wargo Rub, A.M., B.P. Sandlord, L.G. Gilbreath, M.S. Meyers, M.E. Peterson, L.L. Charlton, S.G. Smith, and G.M. Matthews. 2012. Comparative performance of acoustic tagged and passive integrated transponder tagged juvenile Chinook salmon in the Columbia and Snake Rivers, 2008. Seattle: Fish Ecology Division. Northwest Fisheries Science Center. National Marine Fisheries Service.
  29. Wargo Rub, A.M., N. Jepsen, T.L. Liedtke, M.L. Moser, and E.P. Scott Weber III. 2014. Surgical insertion of transmitters in fisheries research. American Journal of Veterinary Research 75:4.

Cite this Article:

International Journal of Sciences is Open Access Journal.
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License.
Author(s) retain the copyrights of this article, though, publication rights are with Alkhaer Publications.

Search Articles

Issue June 2023

Volume 12, June 2023

Table of Contents

World-wide Delivery is FREE

Share this Issue with Friends:

Submit your Paper