This work is still preliminary and has yet to undergo peer-review. However, I am always open to questions and comment on the research. Thank you for visiting!

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Introduction

Burst swimming, typified by fast movements and short-distance and quick acceleration, is a common fish behavior. It is integral to predation encounters (chasing down prey, evading capture), spawning behavior and fish passage through hydraulic challenges. However, it is challenging to study, often requiring high-speed cameras and abundant time to analyze recordings. This time-burden prevents thorough investigation of the role of environmental characteristics (temperature, salinity etc.) on the physiological performance of burst swimming. We modified the “Fish drag-strip” described in Nelson et al. (2002) using a Raspberry Pi microcomputer. The main advantage of the raspberry pi is its ability to monitor up to 25 laser gates, while previous designs were limited to 8. The increase in the number of gates allowed us to gather more data upon each burst event and to measure new traits in burst physiology. The purpose of this project was to assess the accuracy of our design, determine the most appropriate metrics for calculating burst velocity and assess the relationship between burst performance and other measures of fish swimming physiology (e.g. UCRIT)


Materials

Tunnel Design

We constructed two tunnels, a large and a small. The large tunnel is ~2.0m x 0.2m x 0.2m. while the small tunnel is ~1.0m x 0.1m x 0.15m. Each tunnel is made of clear acrylic. Each tunnel has water pumped up into it via a sump system. The sump is plumbed to a heat pump allowing for precise temperature control over the burst tunnel system.