Pike (Esox lucius) floats over dense aquatic plants, Lake Neufeld, Burgenland, Austria

Project: Meet the fish!

In the project “Meet the fish!” the Fish Migration Group collaborates with Kalmar municipality to promote the research on fish ecology in Kalmar. We execute a study where we track the behavior of predatory fish along the coast and use as a base to educate the public about fish and promote the research on fish at Linnaeus University.

Facts about the project

Project manager
Oscar Nordahl
Other project members
Petter Tibblin, Per Larsson, Markus Hall, Henrik Flink
Participating organizations
Linnaeus University
Kalmar Municipality
May 1, 2019 - September 1, 2021
Aquatic ecology (Department of Biology and Environmental Science, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences)
Research group
Fish Ecology

More about the project

The coastal fish stocks are essential for a flourishing coastal community but important species like pike and perch have gone from abundant to almost missing in many areas along the coast of the Baltic Sea. Large predatory fish have a key structuring function in the ecosystem at the same time as they constitute an important resource for local fisheries. Important research questions regarding behavior, dispersal, habitat choice and interaction within and among species have, however, been challenging to study since neither GPS nor radio tracking work in the brackish environment. Recent development of acoustic telemetry has enabled unprecedented opportunities to study fish behavior. The fish are tagged with transmitters that emit acoustic signals. The signals are registered by acoustic receivers and the position of the fish can be determined by a precision of meters, for every minute, during several years.

The technique provides, besides the potential for scientific advancement, an intuitive and pedagogic visualization of the life of the fish. After an initial data handling, the movement of the fish can be projected on a map of the lake or coastal region. This provide an insight into the behavior of fish that does not require any expertize in technology nor ecology. The technology is thus suitable for scientific outreach to the public and for educational purposes.

The project “Meet the fish” will be the start of a long term focus on acoustic telemetry within the research on fish at the Linnaeus University in Kalmar. The results will contribute to the research on dispersal from breeding to foraging grounds, habitat choice as well as interactions within and among species. The project is co-funded by Kalmar municipality and we will together utilize the pedagogical benefits to display fish behavior, and promote ongoing research at LNU, to the public. We will also include the education by allowing students to do project works within the larger project. Results, news and ongoing work will be reported here at the project website and on public events.

The project is part of the research in the research group Fish Ecology and in Linnaeus University Centre for Ecology and Evolution in Microbial model Systems (EEMiS).