Little is known about Gizzard Shad Dorosoma cepedianum life history and habitat use near the far northern edge of their native range. In 2016, the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks aspired to implement an acoustic telemetry study to take a more in-depth look at Gizzard Shad movements and habitat use. However, adult Gizzard Shad have never been surgically implanted with telemetry tags. The objectives of this study were to determine if Gizzard Shad can survive surgery and handling, assess short-term survival and tag retention after surgery and determine what factors affect survival of tagged adult Gizzard Shad. Forty adult Gizzard Shad were surgically implanted with VemcoV13 dummy tags and 40 control fish were placed in a floating net pen. Survival of control fish averaged 90% and survival of tagged fish averaged 88% during the study. With a relatively small sample size, we failed to detect a significant difference in survival of control or tagged fish. Short-term tag retention was high, with only one fish expelling a tag during the study. Survival of tagged Gizzard Shad increased with increasing water temperature at time of capture. Our results suggest Gizzard Shad appear suitable for surgical implantation of telemetry tags. The influence of warmer water temperatures on survival rates of Gizzard Shad indicates the importance of considering life history information when designing and implementing future tagging studies.
Dylan A Gravenhof, Hilary A Morey, Cameron W Goble, Mark J Fincel, Jacob L Davis