Texas Acoustic Array Network

About this Project

Many economically and ecologically important sportfish have complex behaviors involving movements over large distances. This characteristic makes management of these species problematic due to the broad range of habitats they use and the challenges associated with monitoring these very mobile populations. Acoustic telemetry provides researchers critical access to observing these movements by fitting animals with coded acoustic transmitters (“pingers”) and tracking them with an array of acoustic receivers (“listening stations”). The CSSC has used this technology to track the movements of sharks, spotted seatrout, red drum, and red snapper in Texas’ offshore and nearshore waters.


Research Objectives

  • The overall goal of the CSSC is to maintain the Texas acoustic array network and provide researchers access to tracking movement of marine life along the entire coast including various tidal inlets connecting coastal and estuarine habitats. The CSSC encourages collaboration from other institutions to help expand the scale and scope of its acoustic tagging initiative.



Selected Publications

  • Curtis, J.M., M.W. Johnson, S.L. Diamond, and G.W. Stunz. 2015. Quantifying delayed mortality in discarded Red Snapper using acoustic telemetry. Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science. (In Press)


  • Johnson, M.J., S.L. Diamond, and G.W. Stunz. 2015. External attachment of acoustic tags to deepwater reef fishes: an alternate approach when internal implantation affects experimental design. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 144: 851-859. doi:10.1080/00028487.2015.1042556.


  • Reese Robillard, M.M., L.M. Payne, R.R. Vega, and G.W. Stunz. 2015. Best practices for surgically implanting acoustic transmitters in Spotted Seatrout. Transactions of American Fisheries Society 144:81-88. doi:10.1080/00028487.2014.965343

We tracked Spotted Seatrout using VEMCO V13 acoustic transmitters to track their movements in the Upper Laguna Madre, Texas.
A VEMCO VR2W acoustic receiver from Baffin Bay, ready for download via bluetooth.
Acoustic tag implantation in a large sow Red Snapper offshore in the Gulf of Mexico
An external acoustic tag attached to the dorsal fin of a Sandbar Shark for tracking residency around offshore artificial and natural reefs.
Releasing a Red Drum in Mesquite Bay, Texas.
Active tracking components of CSSC: VEMCO Mobile Transceiver (transmitter/receiver) mounted to an autonomous underwater vehicle for remotely tracking fish movements and a Mobile hydrophone for recording real-time tag positions.


The Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation is a center at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies where Dr. Greg Stunz is also the Endowed Chair for Fisheries and Ocean Health...


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