North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission

High Seas Salmon Research Program (HSSRP) Data Storage Tag (DST) Data Files

Information collected by data storage tags (DSTs) carried by salmon and steelhead during their high-seas migrations provides researchers with new tools to examine important salmonid behavioral responses to environmental variables in the ocean.

The High Seas Salmon Research Program (HSSRP) of the University of Washington conducted DST tagging experiments on high seas salmon and steelhead from the late 1990s to the late 2000s. Recently, the HSSRP provided their DST data files to NPAFC, and these files are available for downloading from this webpage.

Note: data files available from this webpage pertain only to DSTs administered by HSSRP and do not include data files from DSTs managed by other high-seas salmonid research programs

A total of 92 DSTs were recovered from 38 chum, 21 sockeye, 15 coho, 10 pink, 7 Chinook salmon and one steelhead trout. Of the 92 tags, eight tags failed completely and four others experienced partial failures.

Investigators considering exploring and using the data files from these DSTs will find the information and guidance provided in the metadata report (NPAFC Doc. 1512) crucial to understanding data file organization and data considerations important to appropriate use of the information from these tags. While the report provides a brief background on the history and types of data tags used, it is primarily concerned with providing information, insight, and guidance to users of the data, with particular emphasis on problems with the data. Explanations are provided for raw and modified tag data files, individual tag metadata, and graphs for data visualization for the functioning tags. For additional background, the report includes a list of published peer-reviewed articles and processed reports based on data originating from these DSTs.

Suggested Steps to Obtain DST Data Files

  1. Determine if there is a DST recovery from a particular fish species and release/recovery area, and obtain the specific DST Tag Number (DSTNo) of interest.

    Download the following list of DST release/recovery records. These records are from the INPFC/NPAFC High-Seas Salmonid Tag-Recovery Database and contain detailed individual records on release/recovery locations and biological characteristics of tagged fish recovered with a DST. NPAFC Doc. 1396 contains detailed explanations of the column headings contained in this file.

  2. Download the DST data file and use the DST Tag Number (DSTNo) to find the relevant data files in the download package. Each tag number may have four files associated with it. Refer to NPAFC Doc. 1512 for a complete explanation of file types.

Raw data (text file): includes all data downloaded from the tag, usually by the original download software, with no corrections or modifications.

Modified data (text file): includes data from the period of fish activity only. The data may be further modified by adjustment of time to the time zone of fish release, adjustments for time drift, correction of data spikes, calculation of depth from pressure, adjustments to correct depth data errors, and estimation of daylight periods.

Graph (PDF): includes a graph of temperature (and depth) data against time, for easy visualization of data patterns, plus ancillary data such as species, biological data, and catch and release gear, dates, and locations.
Note: graphs are intended only for summary presentation of data, not as a substitute for analysis of data.

Metadata (PDF): individual tag metadata includes ancillary data such as the species tagged, time and location of tag release and recovery, biological data, number of data records, tag model, specification of time interval, descriptions of raw and modified data, and any associated adjustments or corrections, methods of conversions, etc.


Related Documents
Doc. 1512Metadata report on the DST data files
Release/Recovery RecordsList of DST release/recovery records (Excel file, 99 records, 57 KB)
Doc. 1396Detailed explanations of column headings in this data file
DST Data DownloadDownload all DST data files and associated metadata (.zip folder, 35 MB)


Use the following citation when referencing the data files:

NPAFC (North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission).  2014.  Data files from data storage tags placed on Pacific salmon and steelhead trout by the High Seas Salmon Research Program, University of Washington.  North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission, Vancouver.  Available: (Month, Year).

The month and year in parenthesis indicate when the site was accessed.