Fish Surgery and Telemetry Services


We regularly perform professional fish surgery and have developed, tested and published multiple descriptions of surgical procedures for implantation of biotelemetry transmitters, electrodes, and vascular flow probes in freshwater and marine fish species. We have invented custom surgical tools for specific research applications, and examined effects of various surgical techniques, wound-closure, and infection control methodologies relevant to fisheries research. We have implanted electromyogram transmitters, radio-transmitters, acoustic transmitters, combined acoustic radio transmitters (CART) into over 30 species of freshwater and marine fishes.

The following list of fish species have been successfully tagged with biotelemetry, radio-telemetry and sonic telemetry transmitters and/or sensors using internal and external surgical techniques for various international projects by Biotactic:
1) White Sucker - Catostomus commersoni
2) Smallmouth Bass - Micropterus dolomieu
3) Largemouth Bass - Micropterus salmoides
4) Northern Hog Sucker - Hypentilium nigricans
5) Blue Sucker - Cylcleptus elongatus
6) Razorback Sucker - Xyrauchen texanus
7) Northern Pike - Esox lucius
8) Greater Redhorse - Moxostoma valenciennesi
9) Shorthead Redhorse - Moxostoma macrolepidotum
10) Walleye - Sander vitreus
11) Brook Trout - Salvelinus fontinalis
12) Brown Trout - Salmo trutta
13) Coral Trout - Plectropomus leopardus
14) Rainbow Trout - Onchorynchus mykiss
15) Rock Bass - Ambloplites rupestris
16) Pumpkinseed - Lepomis gibbosus
17) Bluegill - Lepomis macrochirus
18) Black Crappie - Pomoxis nigromaculatus
19) American Eel - Anguilla rostrata
20) Sea Lamprey - Petromyzon marinus
21) Spotted Gar - Lepeosteus oculatus
22) Atlantic Salmon - Salmo salar
23) Spotted Sucker - Minytrema melanops
24) Blacktail Redhorse - Moxostoma poecilium
25) Dourado – Salminus brasiliensis
26) Pintado / Mandi Amarelo - Pimelodus maculatus
27) Grumatã / Curimbatá – Prochilodus lineatus
28) Boga - Magaleporinus obtusidens
29) Acurupintado - Schizodon nasutus
30) Golden Sailfin Pleco - Hypostomus luteus
31) Northern Pikeminnow - Ptychocheilus oregonensis

We began tracking fish for scientific purposes in 1994 and have over twenty-six years of experience tracking movements, behaviour and physiological parameters of free-swimming wild fish. We have developed specialized and proven techniques required for successful long-term and short-term freshwater and marine fish telemetry experiments. We specialize in riverine experiments at dams, weirs and fishways. We design and conduct studies of fish habitat utilization, fish behaviour and fish movement in freshwater and marine environments, under all conceivable conditions worldwide, using ultrasonic telemetry, radio-telemetry and PIT (RFID) telemetry systems.
CART tag blue sucker

CART-tagged blue sucker

razor back sucker post tag surgery
Healed razorback sucker implanted by Biotactic with a 3 year ultrasonic transmitter - Arizona USA (Photo courtesy Bio-West Inc.)
coded transmitter fish surgery
Surgery to implant coded transmitters into small spotted redhorse (Minytrema melanops) - Texas, USA
blacktail redhorse radio-tag surgery
Radio-tagging blacktail redhorse (Moxostoma poecilurum)

Radio transmitter encapsulation in the body cavity of a smallmouth bass after 22 months

Ultrasonic transmitter implantation into the peritoneal cavity of a coral trout (Plectropomus leopardus - Coral Trout - Queensland, Australia), and subsequent encapsulation of transmitter after 2.5 months