Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: South Dakota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Carlson, T.L., L.A.P. LaBrie, J.S. Wesner, S.R. Chipps, A.A. Coulter, and B.J. Schall. 2023. Receiver mount design, tag depth, and wind speed affect detection probability of acoustic telemetry tags in a Missouri River tributary. Animal Biotelemetry 11:6


One of the most important considerations for acoustic telemetry study designs is detection probability between the transmitter and the receiver. Variation in river conditions and flow regimes among river systems can lead to differences in detection probability between systems. In this study we evaluate the detection probabilities of two acoustic tag models at various distances from stationary receivers, for two different mount designs, at two different tag depths, and across varying wind speed. InnovaSea V16-6H (hereafter V16) and V13-1L (hereafter V13) tags were deployed in the James River, SD at a deep depth of 0.36 m above the benthic surface or at shallow depths of 2.29 m (V16 tag) or 1.98 m (V13 tag) above the benthic surface downstream of stationary receivers at distances of 100, 200, or 300 m. Two receiver mount designs that included a fixed position on bridge pilings in a PVC pipe or in a midriver frame, were used to detect acoustic signals. Tags were deployed for 72 hrs at each location, and hourly detections were summarized and compared to the expected number. We assessed downstream distance, receiver mount design, tag depth, and wind effects on tag detection using Bayesian logistic regression.