Detection efficiency of multiplexed Passive Integrated Transponder antennas is influenced by environmental conditions and fish swimming behaviour


J. C. Aymes, INRA, UMR Ecobiop, Quartier Ibarron, 64310 Saint Pée sur Nivelle, France; e-mail:;


Abstract –  The efficiency of a Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT)-tag detection system was tested during a 23-day experiment using a permanent digital video to record the passage of fish through multiplexed antennas. Coupling video to the PIT system allowed the detection of error sources and the correction of erroneous data. The efficiency of the detection system and its variation were investigated according to fish swimming speed, direction of movement and individual fish behaviour. Influence of time and environmental conditions on detection results were also checked. The PIT tag system was 96.7% efficient in detecting fish. Upstream movements were better detected (99.8%) than downstream movements (93.7%). Moreover, results showed that efficiency rate was not stable over the experiment; it was reduced on stormy days. Several sources of errors were identified such as sub-optimal orientation of the PIT tag relative to the antenna plane, the influence of fish swimming speed, individual fish behaviour and influence of environmental conditions.