Telemetry Techniques: A User Guide for Fisheries Research

Section 6.3: The Application of Radio Telemetry to Fisheries Research in Brazil’s Large Rivers

Lisiane Hahn

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781934874264.ch10

Radio telemetry techniques have been widely applied to fisheries research in temperate regions since the 1970s (Baras 1991), but few studies have been performed in tropical rivers (Hocutt et al. 1994; Thorstad et al. 2001). The first projects to use radio telemetry for fish research in Brazilian freshwater rivers began in 2001 after a Brazilian researcher´s training course promoted by the NGO World Fisheries Trust and LGL Environmental Research Associates, both from Canada. Research on Brazilian fishes with radio telemetry were or are being developed in the river basins of the Amazon, São Francisco, Mucuri, Paraná, Uruguay and Sinos drainages (Figure 1), both in lakes, fishways (Itaipu, Igarapava, Volta Grande and Igarapé dams), rivers and reservoirs. The goals of these studies have been to describe the movements and behavior of migratory species (generally very poorly known), identify locations and timing of spawning, determinate fish passages selectivity and efficiency, temporal patterns of fish passage in fishways, and to assess the effectiveness of radio telemetry as a tool for research on Brazilian freshwater fish. Given the diversity of fish in Brazil and the many unknowns associated with fish biology and natural history, coupled with the difficulties of working in large rivers in relatively remote areas presented a number of challenges that had to be overcome. As such, this Section is intended to be a narrative case study that will describe how radio telemetry has been used to study riverine fish in Brazil.

Data obtained in projects conducted from 2001 to 2008 on the south, southeast and north regions of Brazil were used in this review: Crossa et al. 2003; Schulz 2003; Silva 2004; Pompeu 2005; Godinho and Kynard 2006; Alves et al. 2007; Godinho et al. 2007; Hahn et al. 2007; Hahn et al. 2011; Pesoa and Schulz (2010); and personal communications by authors mentioned above.