Hatchery stocking provides an important tool in reestablishing lost fish populations. Assessment of the survival of stocked fish is needed to support conservation goals, however, directly observing the fate of stocked juvenile fish has remained a challenge in the field.

In a recent paper in Scientific Reports, the Aquatic Research and Environmental Assessment Center’s (AREAC) director Suresh A. Sethi and colleagues demonstrate how small acoustic tags and whole lake monitoring can be used to estimate the survival of stocked juvenile fish. In a collaboration with the NY Department of Environmental Conservation, Cornell, and USGS to restore extirpated native Cisco (Coregonus artedi) in the Finger Lakes to improve ecosystem resilience, the work shows that tagging technology now exists to achieve survival estimates of fish as small as 6g in size. This important work led by Ph.D. student Alex Koeberle advances tools available to improve the success of fish reintroductions.

The paper can be read here.