Bureau of Reclamation Banner
Upper Colorado Region
Salt Lake City, Utah
Media Contact:
Lisa Iams
(801) 524-3673

Released On: September 26, 2011

Contract Awarded for Equipment to Support On-Going Fish Studies in the West
The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a $3 million five-year contract to Biomark Inc., of Boise, Idaho, for passive integrated transponders (PIT) and related equipment to conduct on-going fish studies throughout the 17 Western states associated with numerous river habitat restoration and endangered fish recovery programs.

"This contract provides another tool to enhance real-time, scientific knowledge about fish behavior that we rely upon to inform our river restoration activities," Commissioner Michael L. Connor said today. "River restoration work is an important cornerstone of Reclamation's efforts throughout the West to ensure the sustainability and health of water resources - a key element of the administration's America's Great Outdoors initiative."

The use of PIT tags provides a reliable and effective means of identifying and monitoring individual fish utilizing radio frequency identification technology. Once researchers have implanted a PIT tag, (essentially a small microchip) inside an individual fish, it can easily be tracked and monitored utilizing readers and antennae devices. This provides valuable data for biologists to use in accurately calculating population estimates, recording life-cycle information, and gathering survival and recruitment data.

This is the same technology used to identify and track lost pets including dogs and cats. Because each tag contains a unique electronic number, specific individual data can be gathered over time that is vital to the habitat restoration and species recovery programs Reclamation is involved in. Among the programs that will receive PIT equipment through this contract are: the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program, San Juan River Basin Recovery Program, Middle Rio Grande Endangered Species Collaborative Program, Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program, Columbia/Snake Salmon Recovery Program, Trinity River Restoration Program, San Joaquin River Restoration Program, Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program, Platte River Recovery Implementation Program, and the Gila River Basin Native Fishes Conservation Program.

# # #
Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov.