PIT Tagging is a way to safely and effectively track and monitor fish behavior. PIT, which stands for Passive Integrated Transponder, is a system of radio frequency transmitters and solar powered remote antennas that are installed and maintained by Mass Fish and Wildlife along specific streams in Southeastern Massachusetts to track the movement and reproduction of native sea-run brook trout.
PIT Tagging also works in concert with regular electrofishing where a crew of wildlife technicians and volunteers collect fish for measuring and recording length and to tag new young-of-the year fish.
This, when correlated with PIT tagging information as each fish carries a unique identification number helps establish a growth rate, both in how fast each fish is growing individually, as well as how many new fish are entering or leaving the population.
PIT Tagging systems and equipment require constant upkeep; large 12 volt batteries need replacing, systems wear out or need to be repaired or replaced, and every year the program requires hundreds of new tags as new young-of-the-year fish are constantly entering into the system.
In 2015, sponsor Patagonia Boston provided interns to assist in PIT Tagging. Here’s a short video they made illustrating what this looks like.
Below see additional pictures of wanding, crews doing electrofishing, captured fish and a few shots of what the PIT tagging is like. Overall, Mass Wildlife has tagged thousands of fish.