Recent advances in site-specific detection of fish's physiological responses to continuous stream flows now complement surveillance programs utilizing remote automated water quality monitoring stations. Developments in automated biosensing provide methods for measuring in situ fish breathing rate changes to stream episodes and add a real-time biological monitoring dimension to remote water quality networks incorporating automated data collection platforms and satellite data retrieval options.
In meeting our objective of developing automated biosensing capabilities for remote monitoring, a series of field trials was designed to test various configurations of in situ fish-holding chambers, breathing rate detectors, and system interface to streamside water quality data collection platforms for satellite data retrieval.
Results were used to design groups of automated biosensing devices for detecting rainbow trout breathing rate responses and to implement eight units at each of two data collection, platform-equipped, water quality stations located along a stream subject to acid precipitation influences in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Remote stations are being maintained for real-time data needs as a part of the 5-year Acid Precipitation Mitigation Program initiated in 1985 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to evaluate stream ecological responses to regulated liming operations.