Accelerometer-derived activity correlates with volitional swimming speed in lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens)

Jason Thiem, J W Dawson, A C Gleiss, E G Martins, A Haro, T Castro-Santos, A J Danylchuk, R P Wilson, S J Cooke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Quantifying fine-scale locomotor behaviours associated with different activities is challenging for free-swimming fish. Biologging and biotelemetry tools can help address this problem. An open channel flume was used to generate volitional swimming speed (Us) estimates of cultured lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens Rafinesque, 1817) and these were paired with simultaneously recorded accelerometer-derived metrics of activity obtained from three types of data-storage tags. This study examined whether a predictive relationship could be established between four different activity metrics (tail-beat frequency
(TBF), tail-beat acceleration amplitude (TBAA), overall dynamic body acceleration (ODBA), and vectorial dynamic body acceleration (VeDBA)) and the swimming speed of A. fulvescens. Volitional Us of sturgeon ranged from 0.48 to 2.70 m·s−1 (0.51–3.18 body lengths (BL) · s−1). Swimming speed increased linearly with all accelerometer-derived metrics, and when all tag types were
combined, Us increased 0.46 BL·s−1 for every 1 Hz increase in TBF, and 0.94, 0.61, and 0.94 BL·s−1 for every 1g increase in TBAA, ODBA, and VeDBA, respectively. Predictive relationships varied among tag types and tag-specific parameter estimates of Us are presented for all metrics. This use of acceleration data-storage tags demonstrated their applicability for the field quantification
of sturgeon swimming speed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-654
Number of pages10
JournalCanadian Journal of Zoology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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