, Volume 582, Issue 1, pp 171–185 | Cite as

PIT telemetry as a method to study the habitat requirements of fish populations: application to native and stocked trout movements

  • Amílcar Teixeira
  • Rui M. V. Cortes
Fish Telemetry


Passive integrated transponder (PIT) technology was used to study the behaviour of fishes during the summer season in two headwater streams of northeastern Portugal. A total of 71 PIT tags (12 mm long × 2.1 mm diameter) were surgically implanted in 1+ stocked (39) and native (32) brown trout of two size classes (<20.0 and ≥20.0 cm). Eight independent antennae, connected to a multi-point decoder (MPD reader) unit, were placed in different microhabitats, selected randomly every 3 days during the observation period (29 August–9 September in Baceiro stream and 19 September–4 October in Sabor stream). The results confirmed this method as a suitable, labour efficient tool to assess the movement and habitat use of sympatric stocked and native trout populations. About 76.9% of stocked and 59.4% of native PIT tagged trouts were detected. Multivariate techniques (CCA, DFA and classification tree) showed a separation in habitat use between the two sympatric populations. Stocked trout mainly used the microhabitats located in the middle of the channel with higher depths and without cover. Furthermore, these fishes displayed a greater mobility and a diel activity pattern different to native trout populations.


PIT tag Brown trout Stocking Habitat use Movement 



We would like to thank Jorge Bochechas (Direcção Geral de Recursos Florestais), who made possible this collaboration, Vitor Rego, Julieta Sampaio (Circunscrição Florestal do Norte) and Graça Barreira (Serviços Florestais-Núcleo de Bragança) who provided all the conditions in the fishfarms, and Tiago Martins and Paula Escalda for their assistance on field work. Ray Vogensen provided helpful suggestions, which led to linguistic improvements of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CIMO-Escola Superior Agrária Bragança, Campus Sta ApolóniaBragançaPortugal
  2. 2.Dep. FlorestalUniversidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto DouroVila-RealPortugal

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