Unlike research with terrestrial animals, our understanding of fish is very limited by the fact that humans can’t live in their aquatic world. Researching fish in an environment where we cannot easily follow has lead to development of a range of technologies to monitor their abundance and movement patterns. FISHBIO technicians are testing a prototype fish detector in our wetlab for application in streams. We are working with the U.S. Forest Service and a private developer to test the fish detection capabilities of a passive fish counting device. A scanner plate is placed on the bottom of a water column where it produces a low-power electronic field. Specialized software processes changes in the field caused by organisms passing over. If successful, the device will detect the number of fish swimming over the scanner plate, determine swimming direction, and approximate the size of each individual.
Photo source: FISHBIO