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  Alligator Gar Case Study  
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Acoustic Track of Alligator Gar  

Project: HTI Party & Real-Time Fish Tracking Demo

The Steinhart Aquarium, San Francisco, CA


In September of 2007, during the week of the American Fisheries Society 137th Annual Meeting, roughly 650 fisheries professionals from all over the world enjoyed HTI's San Francisco Social. The event offered AFS attendees a night at the Steinhart Aquarium, great food, and a chance to watch real-time 3D tracking of acoustically tagged
alligator gar.

Characteristically solitary, alligator gar (Atractosteus
) are carnivorous, freshwater fish. They typically feed by waiting in underwater plants for prey to pass by, and then strike with alligator-like teeth (thus their name). When it's feeding time at the aquarium, it becomes apparent how quick and fierce they are. Steinhart's Sr. Aquatic Biologist, David Chan and two of HTI's Sr. Fisheries Biologists gastrically implanted Model 795 Acoustic Tags into two gar by releasing two ‘dinner-time’ herring with tags inside them.

Immediately, the tags were tracked and the tracks projected onto a screen near the tank. Seeing the gar's behavior live in the tank and watching their 3D movement in real-time on the projection screen was an ideal way to show researchers how to observe and document fish behavior with acoustic tags. Taking the tag track data a step further, HTI created a 3D model of the gar and its environment. Animations provide simple articulated simulations of fish and valuable visual aids that can be used for reports and presentations.

As for the rest of the evening, David Manning, the AFS Cal-Neva President said "I heard nothing but praise for the event...HTI's contribution to the 137th Annual Meeting in San Francisco was extraordinary."



     Please note track data
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A unique perspective of the tag traveling through the tank in the gar.  
Click on images below to enlarge.  
Viewing the acoustic tag data from the gar's perspective.    Another view of the 3D acoustic data inside the tank.   
Viewing the acoustic tag data    from the gar's perspective.   Another view of the 3D   acoustic data inside the tank.  
Feeding time: herring and acoustic tags.   Screen projecting real-time tracks near gar tank.  
Feeding time: herring and acoustic tags.   Screen projecting real-time tracks near gar tank.  

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