University of Vermont

Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory


Champlain Acoustic Telemetry Observation System (CATOS)

CATOS is a pilot study, pioneering the use of acoustic telemetry in Lake Champlain to explore what this exciting technology can do to benefit the local commercial and recreational fisheries and improve our understanding of lake ecology.


  • Acoustic telemetry: transmitters in fish send acoustic signals to receivers.

  • Graduate student Tori Pinheiro surgically implants acoustic transmitter in fish aboard UVM’s R/V Melosira.

  • Acoustic transmitters are implanted in fish to remotely track their movements throughout Lake Champlain.

  • Rubenstein Lab graduate students and lab technician deploying CATOS equipment for a sub-ice range test.

More About CATOS

Acoustic telemetry is a technology that allows researchers to remotely track and study the behavior of fish that are implanted with transmitters. Receivers strategically placed throughout the study system collect data on each fish’s location every few minutes for up to three years.

We are currently using this technology to study three main projects in Lake Champlain:

  1. Lake trout spawning site utilization
  2. Movement of fish in a fragmented habitat
  3. Detection range of acoustic receivers

Our overall goal is to establish an acoustic tagging infrastructure, the Champlain Acoustic Telemetry Observation System (CATOS), that can be utilized by multiple projects and investigators.

Last modified February 01 2016 01:31 PM