Knowledge regarding the movement of wild fishes provides valuable information of their spatial ecology, habitat use, and migration patterns. Telemetry methods utilizing either radio or acoustic signals require that a transmitter be affixed to the animal, introducing the potential for adverse effects on the natural movements of study animals. Intracoelemic transmitter implantation has been documented to have limited adverse effects and is considered the best method for long-term tracking relative to gastric insertion or external attachment. Surgical procedures describing transmitter implantation are well known in the literature, however, these methods cannot be used on more primitive fishes such as Lepisosteids due to the complexity of their armored, ganoid scales. External transmitter attachments have only been used on gars because it is not possible to breech ganoid scales using traditional surgical methods. Recently, Midwood et al. (2018) described a new procedure to implant transmitters in the body cavity of Longnose Gars in Lake Ontario. The surgical procedure was deemed successful based on detection rates of the majority of fish up to 3 months post tagging; however, individual post-surgery data was unavailable due to the lack of recaptured individuals over time. To further our knowledge on the survival and healing rate using these novel surgical techniques, we conducted a sham surgery study on Shortnose Gar in a controlled laboratory setting to monitor post-surgery impacts over time. Forty-seven gar were subjected to one of three treatment groups; control, sedation only, or sedation and sham surgery, and monitored over a period of 68 days. Results from our study provide insight to the expected healing rate and survival of gars using intracoelemic transmitter attachment methods in a field setting.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference 2019|
|State||Published - 2019|