Salmon are being tagged using well established procedures. Each fish is fitted with a miniature radio transmitter (Lotek coded MCFT2-16-CE tags measure 46mm in length with a diameter of 16mm and weigh 16g in air) applied under a scientific licence from the Home Office. After recovery, the fish is released back into the sea and its location can be determined using tracking devices once it enters fresh water.
Fish for tagging were intercepted by coastal nets operated by Usan Salmon Fisheries. The extent of the netting stations and the release area can be seen on this map. Triangles show the furthest extent of netting stations used in the project and the release point, to the north of Usan harbour, is indicated by a red circle.
It was planned to radio tag 150 salmon over the period February 16th (the start of the netting season) to 31st May. The aim was to tag approximately 10 fish in February, 30 in March, 50 in April and 60 in May, the monthly target number being spread evenly across available weeks in each month. This target has been met, with 153 fish having been tagged over the period February to May.
- The numbers of fish tagged between February and May together with target numbers
In addition, multi sea winter fish (those greater than 70cm fork length) were tagged and released in the same area during the first two weeks in September. In total, 9 fish were tagged in week 1 (Sept 4th to 7th) and 3 were tagged in week 2 (Sept 11th to 14th).