200754700 - The Natural Tag - TNT

Sponsor: Biopar, LLC

Short description: An automated, non-invasive, individual identification technology, applicable to both commonly tagged species (such as fish) and difficult-to-tag species, such as amphibians, insects, crustaceans, and other indicator species.

Location: Mainstem/Systemwide province, subbasin

Budgets: FY08: $170,238 | FY09: $59,050

Primary species:
Anadromous: Chinook: All Populations
Resident: Burbot
Resident: Lahontan Cutthroat (threatened)


ObjectiveDescriptionSubbasin planStrategies
Assist Data Gathering for EDT & IBIS Compliment the efforts and goals of EDT and IBIS to collect and compile ecological data for the public, policy makers and resource managers to use in their decision making. TNT will allow users from varying interest and education levels to collect images of individual animals for tracking, morphometric and population estimates. Direct inclusion of this data as it is collected into BPA, NW Council, subbasin, EDT or IBIS databases will only enhance the power of those tools. A specific example is the Imnaha Subbasin plan (page 15) urging the establishment of a subbasin wide database to monitor sedimentary build up and its effects on salmoinid production. Individually identifying more salmon in a cost effective way (to expand the stastiical sampling) across specfic areas of concerne visa vi sedimentation will help resource managers and scientists better understand what is happening and the implications of such occurances. In addition, the Grande Ronde subbasin plan focuses much attention on a variety of frog species, some of which are listed as threatened or endangered. Since frogs are dificult to reliably tag using existing methods, and since they have unique identifying patterns, TNT can be used in the field to collect more information, track recaptures, and measure morphometric information without physically harming the animal and at very low cost. This will increase statistical rigor and improve data collection and analysis. ***Again, given the broad application of TNT in collecting information for existing or emerging databases we will identfy only a few specific subbasin pans, realizing TNT's applciation across the entire Columbia System. Imnaha Establish subbasin-wide database;
Assist Data Gathering on Target Recovery Species Demonstrate that TNT has direct applicabilty to monitoring and recovery efforts of several species, including Chinook, Cutthroat Trout, resident burbot, sturgeon, frogs, turtles, etc. Using captive stocks and wild stocks we can help resource managers collect data using their own professional staff, staff from co-managing agencies and from the general public to build better modeling and databases. ***Given the broad application of TNT across species and locations we will mention for purposes of this objective the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho's attempt to re-establish a healthy burbot population (coinciding with our using TNT on their captive burbot stocks at the University of Idaho). Kootenai Evaluate the feasibility of developing burbot donor stock sources forrecovery of declining native burbot stocks in the lower Kootenai
Usefulness Across Species, Space and Time To demonstrate that virtually all species of interest in the Columbia Basin can be tagged using their own naturally occuring external patterns and regular digital photography equipment. Fish, frogs, turtles, snakes and insects all have natural external patterns that make them unique and identifiable. Use of TNT to collect this information (as an alternative to some forms of mutilation tagging) will allow resource managers to collect better data on nearly all animal species; conduct population estimates; standardize monitoring and design; coordinate data collection at the local level and assess the general status, trends and characteristics of various species. ***Note - While we have referenced one subbasin plan in this objective (the Grande Ronde), TNT has direct applicability to virtually all subbasin plans and to virtually all species of interest across the Columbia System. We have elected, per advice from Northwest Council Staff, to reference just one subbasin plan for purposes of these objectives. This should help reduce the volume of paper and time requried for Council staff and BPA reviewers to consider this proposal. Grande Ronde Understand Current Status/Trends/Distribution of Focal Species; Assess Life History/Maintain Genetic Diversity; Assess Effectiveness of Restoration Activities; Monitor Focal Species Distributions; Assist annual decision making efforts; Agency Cooperation



  • ISRP: Unranked
  • Council: Not fundable
  • BPA: Not fundable