What is GLATOS?

The Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry Observation System (GLATOS), established by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, is a bi-national network of researchers who collaboratively use acoustic telemetry to:
  • Understand fish behavior in relation to Great Lakes ecology, and
  • Provide information useful to fish managers in their decision making.
The purpose of GLATOS is to encourage researchers to work within collaborative partnerships and to help the public learn more about Great Lakes acoustic telemetry projects and their contribution to fishery research and management. This network helps to connect acoustic telemetry researchers and their projects, and assists in the sharing of equipment and data within the Great Lakes basin. GLATOS researchers include Canadian and U.S. fishery scientists and biologists from universities and from federal, provincial, state, and tribal agencies.

GLATOS researchers work collaboratively on Great Lakes telemetry projects and communicate their results to the scientific community, fishery managers, and the public. Most GLATOS researchers are employed by federal, state, provincial, tribal, and university organizations.

GLATOS projects are formulated to take advantage of tags, surgically implanted in fish, which transmit unique codes at regular intervals. Individual projects secure funds to purchase tags and receivers to meet project specific objectives. Projects are funded from a variety of sources with some projects funded through the Science Program of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. Interested investigators should submit pre-proposals within this program’s regularly scheduled Call for Proposals.

Researchers benefit from GLATOS through project coordination and planning to minimize interference with other projects (e.g., destructive tag collisions), and access to data from their tagged fish that are detected anywhere within the GLATOS system of receivers deployed throughout the Great Lakes basin. If you would like assistance with the development of a project pre-proposal or proposal, please contact the GLATOS director.

GLATOS equipment includes 100s of stationary receivers listening 24/7 for signals from tagged fish. As a result, researchers, by taking advantage of the receiver network and by operating collaboratively and sharing data, are able to address geographically broader research questions than possible for a single project. GLATOS helps to coordinate equipment use through pre-project planning using a database of existing receiver locations and their operational schedules.

GLATOS maintains a basin-wide database of tag detections that is accessible to Great Lakes project leaders once their project is registered within the GLATOS system. Project leaders are able to access detections of their tags from any GLATOS receiver in the basin. GLATOS project leaders “own” the data associated with the fish they released and can grant other members access to their project’s detailed biological tagging data and subsequent detections of tagged fish, consistent with their own agency or funding source data sharing policy. To facilitate collaboration and planning, receiver locations and dates of operation are available to all members. Non-members do not have access to data.

GLATOS began in 2010 with funds provided to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission by the U.S. Great Lakes Restoration Initiative administered thought the Environmental Protection Agency. GLATOS represents the Great Lakes node within the global Ocean Tracking Network and is administered by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission in collaboration with Michigan State University, U.S. Geological Survey, and the Great Lakes Observing System.
Website Photos Courtesy of Charles Krueger, Andrea Miehls, Andrew Muir, Henry Thompson, Paul Vescei and GLFC Public Archives