Accelerometry is growing in popularity for remotely measuring fish swimming metrics, but appropriate sampling frequencies for accurately measuring these metrics are not well studied. This research examined the influence of sampling frequency (1–25 Hz) with tri-axial accelerometer biologgers on estimates of overall dynamic body acceleration (ODBA), tail-beat frequency, swimming speed and metabolic rate of bonefish Albula vulpes in a swim-tunnel respirometer and free-swimming in a wetland mesocosm. In the swim tunnel, sampling frequencies of ≥ 5 Hz were sufficient to establish strong relationships between ODBA, swimming speed and metabolic rate. However, in free-swimming bonefish, estimates of metabolic rate were more variable below 10 Hz. Sampling frequencies should be at least twice the maximum tail-beat frequency to estimate this metric effectively, which is generally higher than those required to estimate ODBA, swimming speed and metabolic rate. While optimal sampling frequency probably varies among species due to tail-beat frequency and swimming style, this study provides a reference point with a medium body-sized sub-carangiform teleost fish, enabling researchers to measure these metrics effectively and maximize study duration.

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Journal of Fish Biology
Department of Biology

Brownscombe, J.W. (Jacob W.), Lennox, R.J. (Robert J.), Danylchuk, A.J. (Andy J.), & Cooke, S.J. (2018). Estimating fish swimming metrics and metabolic rates with accelerometers: the influence of sampling frequency. Journal of Fish Biology, 93(2), 207–214. doi:10.1111/jfb.13652