NOAA Uses RFID to Track Fish at High Speed in Washington Dam

By Mark Roberti

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)has launched a passive low-frequency (LF) RFID tracking system at the Lower Granite Dam’s Ogee spillway. The system captures the unique identity of thousands of salmon and steelhead at a distance of 1 meter or more underwater as the fish pass by at approximately 47 miles per hour on their way to the Pacific Ocean’s Columbia Basin.The RFID antenna array that captures that data is permanently built into Spillway 1 at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)’s Lower Granite Dam. Key takeaways: Hear why the resulting data from the system will help researchers understand the number of salmon surviving to spawn, as well as when problems in the fish’s life cycle might occur. Learn how the installation of an RFID-based detection system might be used in the future at additional locations.

Speaker: Gabriel Brooks, Electronic Technician, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)