Saskatchewan

Acoustic receiver holding fish data recovered from Buffalo Pound Lake

Good weather, technology, old fashioned seamanship and some "dumb luck" are being credited for locating a missing acoustic receiver on the bottom of Buffalo Pound Lake.

Equipment cut from buoy a few weeks ago

The hard drive recovered is full of fish location data. (Saskatchewan Sportfish Research Group/Facebook)

Good weather, technology, old fashioned seamanship and some "dumb luck" are being credited for locating a missing acoustic receiver on the bottom of Buffalo Pound Lake.

The equipment was tethered to a buoy in the lake, which is west of Regina. Sometime a few weeks ago, it was somehow cut from the buoy and ending up on the lake bed. It was still tied to an anchor line.

The receiver was listening for signals from fish that were tagged with acoustic transmitters. Luckily, the equipment could continue to do that, even from the bottom of the lake.

The Saskatchewan Sportfish Research Group was using the receiver to study fish behaviour in the lake. Chris Somers, a biology professor at the University of Regina, and his students make up the group. 

Initially, they asked the public and cabin owners for help retrieving the receiver. But in the end, they managed to find the equipment on their own.

"We used some grappling equipment on the end of ropes and we threw those out and dragged them along the bottom. My field technician, Una, was able to snag the anchor line with her grappling hook and bring it up to the boat," Somers said.

He said the receiver is in excellent shape.

"It's in the lab now, and it was storing in the neighbourhood of 40,000 fish observations," he said.

"Imagine what a big loss of data that would have been had we not been able to get it back." 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sharon Gerein is the producer for CBC Radio One's The Afternoon Edition in Saskatchewan.

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