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Toronto and Region Conservation to Conduct Acoustic Telemetry Fisheries Study in Toronto Harbour

May 08, 2013


For Immediate Distribution

(TORONTO, May 8, 2013) Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) in cooperation with Aquatic Habitat Toronto (AHT), Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Science Group, and Carlton University, are continuing a five year study to monitor the abundance and health of the fish community inhabiting the Toronto Harbour. The study uses for the first time in Lake Ontario a new high tech method. The methods of monitoring to date have primarily been sampling the fish with "traditional" gear such as netting and electrofishing. 

This newer method surgically implants the fish with acoustic tags allowing researchers a more complete view of the individual fish activity throughout the entire year and not just a single snap shot in time as with the more traditional equipment. Once released back into the environment these fish are able to be tracked throughout the inner and outer harbours of Toronto. Each fish transmits its location, temperature and depth. Starting Monday May 6 2013 TRCA and Carleton University staff will be capturing and surgically implanting the latest round of transmitters into fish using the Outer Harbour Marina as a base.  This activity will continue until Friday May 10th.

"We are excited to use this innovative technology that will allow us to get a better understanding of the fish community in Toronto from spawning areas, feeding habitats, nursery habitat, over wintering areas," said Rick Portiss, Manager, Restoration and Environmental Monitoring Projects, Toronto and Region Conservation. "We need a more accurate picture of our fish populations to ensure that vital fish habitat is enhanced and protected within the Toronto Harbour"

The tagged fish are tracked remotely through a series of acoustic receivers which have been placed on the bottom of the lake throughout the Toronto Harbour. The receivers communicate with the surgically implanted tags in the fishes allowing us to track the habitat utilization by these fishes. The deployment locations have been selected to allow the receivers to accurately triangulate the position of the fish in and around the harbour. 


  • 36 receivers have been deployed throughout the harbour Including two outside the harbour- Placed strategically to monitor macrohabitat use.
  • 51 fish tagged in Sept. 2010 - 17 largemouth bass - 17 common carp - 17 northern pike
  • 39 fish Tagged in June 2011 -18 largemouth bass -18 northern pike -3 walleye
  • 91 fish tagged in Sept 2012 -20 largemouth bass -20 northern pike -7 walleye -10 yellow perch -14 Brown Bullhead -20 Common Carp
  • 148 Fish to be tagged in 2013 -42 Largemouth Bass- 45 Northern Pike- 14 common carp- 12 yellow perch -10 pumpkinseed - 10 white sucker -5 walleye


Toronto and Region Conservation

With over 50 years of experience, Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) helps people understand, enjoy and look-after the natural environment. Our vision is for The Living City®, where human settlement can flourish forever as part of nature's beauty and diversity.  For more information, call 416-661-6600 or visit us at





Rowena Calpito, Toronto and Region Conservation

Tel: 416-661-6600 ext 5632 E-mail:               

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Elizabeth Oakley
Tel: 416-661-6600 ext 5856

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