Blog: Conservation Leadership

CZS and Forest Preserves Staff Implant Fish with Transmitters

Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC) and Chicago Zoological Society (CZS) staff spent Thursday morning implanting radio transmitter chips into fish species for research purposes at McGinnis Field Station in Orland Park.
Fish taken from Busse Lake, part of Busse Woods, in Elk Grove Village will be tracked and studied by the FPCC in order to better understand seasonal migration and habitat usage.
The procedure was performed in several stages. After being transported to McGinnis Field Station, the fish were sedated by CZS veterinarians and were out of the water for approximately 30 minutes. A transmitter, which can be as small as a pencil eraser and as large as thumb depending on the size of the fish, was surgically implanted into the fish and the incision was then sutured. The fish recover for several weeks at the field station where they are tagged and then eventually released back into their original habitat for monitoring.
Implanting the transmitters started as a way for FPCC Fisheries staff to detect when female fish were approaching the shoreline to lay eggs. The eggs are collected in order to be reared at FPCC hatcheries. That effort evolved, and since 2012 the data is used to gain a broader understanding of how fish use the bodies of water in which they live. It is especially important to evaluate date from this work over multiple years which is vital to recognizing trends and changes over time.

Posted: 5/8/2015 2:58:43 PM by Filed under: animal welfare, conservation, FPDCC, tagging fish

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