Using Barcode Scanners to Automate CWT Data Management in Escapement

A Salmonid Enhancement Program (SEP) hatchery may collect over 2,000 adult Chinook heads each year for dissection and recovery of coded-wire tags (CWTs). Each head is identified using an attached label (e-label in escapement samples), which in recent years includes a barcode as well as the numeric identifier (ID). Using the E-label ID, CWT data is linked to biological data, such as length, sex, thermal marks and genetic identification, for a given sampling stratum. The e-label IDs, and most of the biological data, are manually entered into the data management system at the hatchery. This is a process that requires substantial time and effort to ensure there are no errors associated with the manual data entry.

This project proposes to improve hatchery data management and reporting through the development of a hatchery protocol for automated sampling data collection with the purchase, testing and operationalization of barcode scanners in hatcheries where CWTs are recovered. Use of barcode scanners will enable hatchery staff to automate data capture and reduce errors from manual data entry.