High-Resolution 3D Fish Telemetry

We specialize in high-resolution 2D/3D tracking of fish, crustaceans and other aquatic animals in their natural environment. Our group consists of researchers from Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) and Technical University of Denmark (DTU). We started using high-resolution telemetry to track fish in 2008 and have since led or participated in many 2D/3D telemetry studies conducted in lakes, rivers and coastal areas in several countries.

Our research

High-resolution telemetry can be applied to uncover aspects of animal behaviour that would otherwise be undetectable. See our recent paper (Nathan et al 2022) for a review on how high-resolution telemetry and Big Data are revolutionizing movement ecology. Part of this revolution is driven by the continued development and refinement of the methodologies for tracking animals. To overcome limitations and implications of using manufacturer provided software or paid services, our group developed the Open-Source alternative called YAPS presented in Baktoft et al 2017. We continously work on improving YAPS and on making it more user-friendly.

High-resolution telemetry is a strong and versatile tool to study fish behaviour in the real world as it enables us to track fish in their natural habitats (in contrast to studies in artificial lab environments). For instance, we have used this tool to study how northern pike (Esox lucius) behave during the seasons (including under ice cover) by tracking the same individuals for several years in their natural lake.

High-resolution tracking example
High-resolution tracking example from SafePass. The track shows Atlantic salmon kelt negotiating one of several hydropower facilities in River Orkla. Hydrophones are shown as green dots.

A typical use-case of high-resolution telemetry is to study how fish behave when approaching challenges caused by human activities and structures such as hydropower facilities. Several of our projects are addressing exactly these issues. See for instance our project in the Danish Limfjord where a flood preventation barrier poses a serious challenge for migration trout (Salmo trutta). On a much larger scale, we are currently using high-resolution telemetry to study the behaviour of various fish species as they approach the IronGate2 hydropower dam in the Danube (second-longest river in Europe) - see the project WePass2.

Real-Time High-Resolution 3D Fish Tracking

Sometimes you just want to know where the fish are right now. This was indeed a highly prioritized desire for the project Sustainable Lake Stewardship. To facilitate this, we developed a real-time tracking system that continiously visualize the position and track for the last hour of the tagged fish. Go directly to the real-time tracking system or read more about it here.


All projects


Where we track fish

High-resolution tracking projects we are leading/have led or have otherwise been involved in