UW-Green Bay northern pike project installs acoustic transmitters in fish | WLUK

SUAMICO (WLUK) — Scientists and students are working together to help give a popular sport fish a helping hand.

It’s all taking part during the springtime spawning run for the northern pike.

Inside a fyke net, the northern demonstrate part of what makes the fish a favorite catch for anglers.

“Lots of fish today, moving in and out of the wetlands. I think we recorded somewhere on the order of 40 northern pike,” said Patrick Forsythe, UW-Green Bay Professor.

Forsythe has studied pike in the Suamico wetlands area for nearly a decade. As part of their studies, a team of students is along to help.

“The last few years have really been all about collecting that biological information. And then this year, we really wanted to get a sense of where the fish move after they completed their spawning activity. So, once they go out into the bay, where are they going? What habitats are they using? How far do they move?” asked Forsythe.

Enter a possible surgical solution.

For the past couple of days, students have been placing acoustic transmitters into selected fish. UW-Green Bay graduate student Sadie Swindall is leading the project at the site.

“There’s an array out there of receivers, and it will show us where these pike are going. So, when the pike go past a receiver, it’ll ping their location, and then we’re able to see if they’re staying in shallower water, deeper water. We’ve seen in recent years, that they’re actually going out in to the open water, further away from their near-shore habitat,” said Swindall.

Each transmitter costs about $375. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service paid for the tags.

“Last year, fish and wildlife tagged 12 fish, and we’ve been recording the movements of those fish for the last year or so. And this year, the idea is to add another 20to 25 fish to the population out there,” said Forsythe.

The acoustic transmitters are expected to last for seven to 10 years. If you happen to catch a fish with a tag inside, you can return the transmitter to UW-Green Bay by calling the phone number that’s attached.

Source: UW-Green Bay northern pike project installs acoustic transmitters in fish | WLUK

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