Adult Anadromous Fish Radiotelemetry Project (1996-2004)

NOAA College of Natural Resources, University of Idaho US Army Corps of Engineers
AAFRP Project Description Data Description Glossary Maps & Publications Contact

Data Description

Code Definition Overview and Cheat Sheet


We've developed a 'Coding' system to condense the many data recorded from the emission of radio signals (from transmitters in fish) into cogent summaries of fish movements past dams, through reservoirs and into tributaries.

Each radio receiver deployed throughout the Columbia and Snake River basins is named. Receiver names are three characters long and are listed in the 'Site' field of the database. The first character is a unique identifier (number or letter) and the 2nd and 3rd are abbreviations of the dam name. For example, receiver 'AJD' stands for Receiver 'A' at John Day Dam and 4BO stands for Receiver '4' at Bonneville Dam. Radio receivers may have one or more antennas attached to them. Most antennas at dams are underwater antennas but some are aerial antennas (or Yagis). Each antenna attached to a receiver is uniquely identified with a number.

Standard transmitters used were 3- and 7-volt radio tags that transmitted a digitally coded signal every ~5 s on a set frequency (or Channel). Code sets allowed us to monitor up to 212 fish per frequency. The Channel/Code combination uniquely identifies each transmitter.

There are several attributes of a record (or hit) that are associated with a signal each time it is recorded by a receiver. They include:

Channel - set frequency of radio signal emitted by a transmitter.
Code - digital pattern of signal emission that uniquely identifies a transmitter within a given Channel or radio frequency.
Date = date signal was recorded.
Time = time signal was recorded (All times are Pacific Daylight Savings Time).
Site = unique receiver name.
Antenna ## = unique antenna number (for given receiver).
Power = signal strength; an index of the distance between the transmitter and the antenna receiving the signal. Power and the distance between transmitter and antenna for a given hit are inversely proportional.
RKM = river kilometer (measured from mouth of Columbia River) where a signal was recorded or a receiver located.

To this list of fields, we have added one other called 'CORR'. In the CORR field, we have placed codes to summarize the movements/behaviors of tagged fish and provide specific information about where these behaviors occurred. We use four 'Action' codes to denote specific behaviors at dams. The four action codes are:

A = Approach
E = Entrance
I = Inside
X = Exit

The syntax for denoting specific behaviors at specific locations = Action/Receiver/Antenna. (E.g., an 'X41' code = the fish exited the dam via the opening where receiver 4 /antenna 1 is deployed).

We use 'F' and 'L' codes to denote First and Last records of a block at 'fixed sites', respectively. A 'block' of records is defined as two or more consecutive (in time) records at a given antenna. 'Fixed sites' are receivers typically outfitted with aerial antennas and are located in the tailrace of dams, along mainstem portions of rivers, or at mouths of tributaries. Fixed sites deployed in the tailrace of dams are generally referred to as '1 Sites'.

Reference Key for all Codes:

F1 = First record of the first block of records at the 1 Site (downstream Yagi antennas).
L1 = Last record at 1 Site before the first record at a dam.
F = First record at the 1 Site after an approach at the dam, or First record at a fixed receiver site.
L = Last record at the 1 Site after an approach at the dam, or Last record at a fixed receiver site.
A1** = First Approach at Site + Antenna.
A** = subsequent Approach at Site + Antenna (e.g., 'A41' would indicate an Approach at Receiver '4', Antenna '1').
E1** = First Entrance at Site + Antenna.
E** = subsequent Entrance at Site + Antenna.
X** = Exit at Site + Antenna.
I** = Inside hit at Site + Antenna.
UA = Unknown Approach (typically accompanied by a UE).
UA1 = Unknown First Approach (UA1** = Unknown First Approach at Site + Antenna).
UE = Unknown Entrance.
UE1 = Unknown First Entrance (UE1** = Unknown First Entrance at Site + Antenna).
UX = Unknown exit.
U** (UX3) = receiver site of action was known, but not the time and/or antenna.
U*** (UE31) = location of action was known, but not the time.
FP = First record in a transition pool. Transition pools are features of all monitored dams. Transition pools are located immediately downstream from fish ladders.
LP = Last record in a transition pool.
FT = First record at the top-of-the-ladder site.
LT = Last record at the top-of-the-ladder site.
UFT and ULT = Unknown First Top/Unknown Last Top - assigned to fish known to have passed a dam but not having records at Top of the Ladder site.
FB = record indicating a Fallback event at a dam. The time associated with a FB record does not indicate the time of a Fallback, just that it happened sometime between the preceding and subsequent records.
EFB = End of Fall Back; assigned to fish that have fallen back at a dam and subsequently re-ascended it.
K = record indicating the fish (steelhead only) has become a Kelt and has begun a seaward emigration.

Auxiliary Records:

In addition to records obtained from fixed radio receivers, we include supplemental, or auxiliary, records to our coded records to designate specific events. Specifically:

TAG = Record indicating when and where a fish outfitted with a transmitter was released.
MBT = Mobile Tracking record, obtained either from boat or truck.
RCP = fish was Recaptured and either released or kept.
GRT = (a kind of RCP record) fish was recaptured at Lower Granite Dam Trap.

Recapture Record Suffixes:

Suffixes may be appended to RCP records to augment or provide details about the circumstances surrounding a given recapture event. They include:

RCP - A = Found Tag (no fish attached) or tag believed to be in Air.
RCP - D = Date of recapture event is questionable or unknown.
RCP - H = Recaptured at a hatchery, trap, or weir.
RCP - M = RKM is questionable or unknown.
RCP - R = Fish was recaptured and subsequently released with transmitter intact.
RCP - RP = Fish released and transmitter pulled.
RCP - RPN = Fish was trapped, transmitter was pulled, fish released with a different transmitter.
RCP - U = Date and location of recapture event is unknown.
RCP - X = Recapture event where fish has no radio tag present. Identification is based on secondary tag (Visual Implant (VI) or Passive Integrative Transponder (PIT)).

Species Codes:

Species CodeNameScientific
1Spring/Summer ChinookOncorhynchus tshawytscha
2Fall ChinookOncorhynchus tshawytscha
3SteelheadOncorhynchus mykiss
4SockeyeOncorhynchus nerka
5LampreyLampetra tridentata
6Northern PikeminnowPtychocheilus oregonensis
7ChumOncorhynchus keta
9CohoOncorhynchus kisutch
10PinkOncorhynchus gorbuscha
11Green SturgeonAcipenser medirostris
12Bull TroutSalvelinus confluentus
99Test tagsnone

Study Year Boundaries:

YearBegin DateEnd Date
199604-Apr-1996 00:00:0002-Apr-1997 23:59:59
199703-Apr-1997 00:00:0031-Mar-1998 23:59:59
199801-Apr-1998 00:00:0025-May-1999 23:59:59
199926-May-1999 00:00:0009-Mar-2000 23:59:59
200010-Mar-2000 00:00:0002-Apr-2001 23:59:59
200103-Apr-2001 00:00:0030-Mar-2002 23:59:59
200231-Mar-2002 00:00:0019-Feb-2003 23:59:59
200320-Feb-2003 00:00:0004-Mar-2004 23:59:59
200405-Mar-2004 00:00:0024-Jan-2005 23:59:59

Projects List:

The Dalles
John Day
Ice Harbor
Lower Monumental
Little Goose
Lower Granite
Priest Rapids
AAFRP Project Description Data Description Glossary Maps & Publications Contact

The Adult Anadromous Fish Radiotelemetry Project was originally hosted by the NWFSC, NOAA (1996-2007). It is currently hosted by Columbia River DART (Data Access in Real Time), Columbia Basin Research, School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences, University of Washington. All Data Queries presented on this web site are designed and implemented by DART.

last modified 12/27/2004