AutoFish System

Large 5th wheel trailers are used for housing the AutoFish System.

AutoFish System is contained in a trailer so that it can be moved between hatcheries.

AutoFish System is a self-contained mobile unit that uses advanced technology to rapidly sort within 1 mm accuracy, clip adipose fins (marks), and inject Coded Wire Tags in snouts (tagging) of salmonids from 57 mm to 142 mm.

Mass marking and tagging Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon, Steelhead, Lake Trout and other salmonids reared at enhancement hatcheries is an important tool for managing hatcheries in a sustainable manner. To meet the requirements of the Endangered Species Act, federal and state mandates, recommendations from independent scientists, and the Hatchery Genetic Management Plans, hatchery fish must have a visible mark or tag that can be used to distinguish them from naturally produced fish. In many programs, excising the adipose fin has been selected as the visible mark.

Inside the trailer are 6 marking and tagging lines. There is a shallow tray at the top of each line and a tagging machine at the bottom.

Inside the trailer, the fish are sorted by size to the clipping and tagging lines. The white trays are used to keep the fish swimming through the system. After clipping and tagging, the fish return through pipes back to the holding pond.

AutoFish System is a cost effective way to handle juvenile salmon rapidly without the use of anesthetic or human contact. It was developed as an alternative to manual clipping and tagging to help government agencies implement their ambitious marking and tagging programs for salmonids (read more about Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game’s program).

See AutoFish in action:

IDFG uses AutoFish for tagging millions of hatchery salmonids

Watch a video showing how the USFWS uses AutoFish System in Washington State

See how the USFWS uses AutoFish in the Great Lakes Region

Please contact NMT for more information.