E. Munday, B. Moore, J. Dawson, M. Burger – BioSonics, Inc., Seattle WA, USA
Abstract A new processing utility added to BioSonics Visual Acquisition (VisAcq) software was evaluated to determine its relative efficiency and accuracy as a means to rapidly process hydroacoustic data. VisAcq’s Trace Formation (AutoTrack) capability represents a potential paradigm shift in the conventional methods for obtaining fish counts, density and distributional information from hydroacoustic fisheries data sets. Conventional methods involve two primary tasks; data collection and data processing. VisAcq AutoTrack processes during data collection by detecting, classifying and accepting or rejecting echo returns based on user-selected parameters. Fish tracks or traces are automatically formed in near-real time from the accepted echoes and logged or displayed. The new software calculates sample volume, based on distance traveled, range, and beam angle, thus allowing for automated fish density measurements. A hydroacoustic data set collected in Lake Washington, Seattle was processed to determine fish density by depth strata, horizontal and vertical distribution, and total count. Data were processed in real time using VisAcq AutoTrack and post-processed using three other commercially available and widely-used programs. The analysis results across the four different software applications demonstrated that VisAcq Autotrack provides provisional information as accurate as data provided by the other software while eliminating nearly all post processing effort.