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The Klamath Falls Field Station has personnel with technical expertise in analysis of data related to quantitative population dynamics, design and installation of custom PIT tag detection systems, design and creation of ecological databases, and design and implementation of radio telemetry studies.

Automatic data collection technology
Custom data collection software combined with automatic data collection technology directly interface with databases for error free data collection. The data are then easily extracted from databases for use in population dynamics modeling. (Credit: Caylen Kelsey, USGS-WFRC, Klamath Falls Field Station. Public domain.)


Automatic data collection methods, including PIT tag and radio-telemetry technology provide us with the ability to monitor imperiled fish species throughout their life histories. To fully access the abundance of data supplied by these systems we develop database systems, software applications and electronics. Our developers design and maintain several Postgresql and SQL Server databases as well as web and desktop applications to input, retrieve and visualize data. We also develop electronics and applications to record data in the field and interface PIT tag and radio-telemetry transceivers. This aids in the reduction of data collection errors, insures minimal loss of data through automatic backups, and provides access to data stored in databases for reference.

PIT Tag Systems

Remote PIT tag detection stations were incorporated into  research and monitoring efforts in 2005 by the Klamath Falls Field Station staff, to help with our capture-recapture study on adult Lost River and shortnose suckers.  In addition to the capture-recapture information, the remote detection stations have allowed us to document run timing and distribution and habitat usage for multiple species. The benefits we were seeing from the remote detection stations encouraged us to learn how to build and design antennas in our shop to allow for more flexibility to operate and maintain existing sites as well as install additional sites as needed. With the knowledge our staff has gained from building, installing and maintaining remote detection stations for our own projects, we have been able to provide our expertise and experience to other partners. Our staff specializes in Full Duplex (FDX) 134 kHz and 125 kHz antennas and can build them in a variety of shapes and sizes for a variety of transceiver types which allows for flexibility when customizing detection stations for different applications.

Quantitative Population Modeling

Researchers at the Klamath Falls Field Station use population models to better understand factors affecting the risk of extinction and probability of recovery for endangered Lost River and shortnose suckers. Remote detections of tagged suckers are used to estimate the frequency of spawning migrations. Adult sucker survival and recruitment of new young individuals to spawning populations are estimated using advanced and applicable population modeling techniques.

Willow Creek detection station PIT tag system
Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tag detection station on Willow Creek, California. Systems like this one are used to detect movements of endangered Lost River and shortnose suckers in remote locations. (Credit: Brian Hayes, USGS-WFRC, Klamath Falls Field Station. Public domain.)