During the summer of 2019, scientists at the Columbia Environmental Research Center developed hardware and software solutions to enhance the communication capability of data-logging radio receivers used to detect pallid sturgeon implanted with transmitters in the Lower Yellowstone and Upper Missouri Rivers. The new remote communication capabilities developed for passive radio-telemetry receiver stations were installed and tested at a single location on the Lower Yellowstone River immediately downstream from a known spawning location (see previous blog entry A Spawning Recorded in the Yellowstone River).
The new equipment was designed to be installed within the environmental enclosure of existing telemetry stations. The improved telemetry stations can use cellular or satellite-based technology to upload data from the receiver to a remote server twice per day. The receiver station can also be remotely queried hourly to receive updates on fish detection and movement. The technology is ready for broad application at designated telemetry network sites as needed in 2020 to provide near real-time fish movement data to study migration and spawning in response to environmental cues and management actions.