Validating Fish Counters

counterAccurate estimates of fish population size are essential for proper management, but can be expensive or difficult to obtain. IFR uses a fish counter based on simple technology that measures changes in resistance as fish pass over a set of electrodes. IFR uses this cost-effective technology at eight index sites around British Columbia, and is used extensively by government agencies throughout the UK and Europe to count salmonid populations; however, standardized methods for validation and estimating population abundance are limited.

The objectives of this research project are to develop a framework that will provide users of fish counters with validation methods and robust population estimates and their uncertainty. We are illustrating our framework with examples of resistivity counter sites that differ in species, migration timing, sensor types, and environmental conditions. This research will identify the conditions under which this technology is a cost-effective alternative to conventional enumeration methods, allowing users to optimize enumeration accuracy and resources.