Section 6.4: Tracking Aquatic Animals in Lakes and Analyzing the Telemetry Data
Lakes are incredible natural resources. They provide us with water for drinking, agriculture, industry, transportation, and recreation such as fishing, swimming, and boating. Lakes also provide great opportunities for scientific research, because of their diversity and complexity, and because human activities use, deplete, contaminate, and alter aquatic resources. They provide challenges and opportunities for research due to their great range in size, depth, temperature regime, salinity, water quality, ice cover, and vegetation. Telemetry is a tool that can be used to study or solve problems concerning the biology, habitat requirements, ecological interactions, and behavior of fish and other similar-sized aquatic organisms in lakes.
This Section covers radio telemetry techniques in lakes and methods to analyze the data collected. I will begin with tips on monitoring fish in lakes and will present case studies from several projects. These are projects by my colleagues, my graduate students, and myself. I hope the examples of the problems and solutions will help the reader plan studies and avoid pitfalls. Last, I will give examples of the types of telemetry studies that have been conducted in lakes and methods to analyze the data.