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Underwater Camera Systems : A DIY design for field research in freshwater systems Public Deposited

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  • The ability to observe species in their natural setting using remote cameras is an increasingly important tool for in-field research. Remote cameras for terrestrial studies are inexpensive and widely available, but there are few comparable options for researching aquatic habitats. For this study, a do it yourself (DIY) underwater camera housing was built to encompass an external battery connected to a small action camera, facilitating a relatively inexpensive, cordless underwater camera system (UCS) capable of recording over nine consecutive hours. Cameras were deployed in high and low turbidity aquatic habitats in the Deschutes and Metolius Rivers in Oregon. Video data was quantified by systematically identifying fish species within the video frame among sample windows of differing light conditions. Although the proportion of positive identification in turbid environments was greater than clear, species identification in both habitats was greater than 49%. Study results demonstrate the potential for affordable UCS approaches in monitoring applications.
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