Science Diary: Grayling – Tagging

music; ambience moving water

“Today we’re going to be weighing and measuring and tagging the fish that we caught yesterday.”

Arctic Grayling are the only fish found in Alaska’s Kuparik River. Their populations can vary greatly from year to year, and scientists are trying to find out why. Welcome to Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside.

“So these fish have already sat for twenty-four hours. And I’ll anesthetize them and then weigh them and measure them. And then, we’ll tag them if they don’t have a tag already. And then we’ll let them recover in these recovery buckets here. And then put them back into the stream.”

Heidi Golden is a research assistant to Linda Deegan at Alaska’s Toolik Lake Field Station. They’ve been monitoring the Arctic Grayling by tagging them. The tags are tiny capsules that are actually injected into the back of the fish. Once a fish has been tagged, its unique number can be read with a device that’s similar to a barcode scanner.

“These are pit tags. And each one is encoded with a special alphanumeric code. And this reader here [BEEP] will read the tag [BEEP] and give you the number off the tag. And the nice thing about these is that they’re completely within the fish; there’s nothing external to cause any kind of, you know, abrasions or anything on the fish itself, or a drag in the water. So it’s a very nice way to tag a fish.”

Understanding the changing populations of the Arctic Grayling can give scientists clues of the effects of climate change on the Alaskan Tundra ecosystem.

Our thanks to the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole.

Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

music

Science Diary: Grayling - Tagging

The populations of Arctic Graylings can vary greatly from year to year, and researchers are monitoring them to find out why.
Air Date:06/24/2008
Scientist:
Transcript:

music; ambience moving water

"Today we're going to be weighing and measuring and tagging the fish that we caught yesterday."

Arctic Grayling are the only fish found in Alaska's Kuparik River. Their populations can vary greatly from year to year, and scientists are trying to find out why. Welcome to Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside.

"So these fish have already sat for twenty-four hours. And I'll anesthetize them and then weigh them and measure them. And then, we'll tag them if they don't have a tag already. And then we'll let them recover in these recovery buckets here. And then put them back into the stream."

Heidi Golden is a research assistant to Linda Deegan at Alaska's Toolik Lake Field Station. They've been monitoring the Arctic Grayling by tagging them. The tags are tiny capsules that are actually injected into the back of the fish. Once a fish has been tagged, its unique number can be read with a device that's similar to a barcode scanner.

"These are pit tags. And each one is encoded with a special alphanumeric code. And this reader here [BEEP] will read the tag [BEEP] and give you the number off the tag. And the nice thing about these is that they're completely within the fish; there's nothing external to cause any kind of, you know, abrasions or anything on the fish itself, or a drag in the water. So it's a very nice way to tag a fish."

Understanding the changing populations of the Arctic Grayling can give scientists clues of the effects of climate change on the Alaskan Tundra ecosystem.

Our thanks to the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole.

Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.

music