Automated Counter for Fish Populations Monitoring

Every river is different. WSP’s IchtyoS System™ makes it possible to monitor fish remotely and in real time as they pass through. It is a one-of-a-kind system that uses various types of technology simultaneously to provide more precise estimations and monitor fish populations in the long term.



  • Ecology and Environmental Impact
  • Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and Planning
  • Environmental Due Diligence
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Sport fishing has a significant socioeconomic impact in communities throughout Canada. Several fish species also play a major role in traditional First Nations practises. Consequently, we believe that a simple, reliable monitoring system designed to be installed in existing fishways or directly in riverbeds can play a vital role in managing populations and fishing quotas, thereby contributing to the long-term survival of species that have suffered greatly in the past. As an example, one of our counters, installed in the Petit-Saguenay River, in Saguenay, Québec, makes it possible to determine the number of individual fish in a run on a day-to-day basis. The various stakeholders (ministries, FQSA, outfitters) can then use this information to manage sport fishing activities. This is an innovative way to protect wildlife, while also encouraging responsible economic activities and maintaining First Nations cultural traditions.


Skills and experience backed by innovation and technology

WSP’s IchtyoSTM System is the culmination of ten years of research and development. It makes it possible to monitor fish remotely and in real time as they pass through the system, avoiding the routine capturing of individual fish and the stress that entails. Furthermore, it combines several technologies to precisely identify key biological parameters, regardless of local conditions (luminosity, turbidity, floating debris, etc.). The use of complementary technologies makes it possible to exceed individual sets of limitations, yield accurate estimates and enable long-term monitoring of fish populations.


Solutions aligned to client requirements

Every river is different, which is why our experienced multidisciplinary team tailors its solution for each project. We are always innovating to improve data processing times and the system’s reliability. By reducing monitoring costs, we can better manage a greater number of sites to protect migratory fish species.


How it works

IchtyoSTM is a one-of-a-kind system that uses various types of technology simultaneously to provide more precise estimations and monitor fish populations in the long term. It consists of three detection bands forming three light curtains. When the fish go through the light beams, various detection bands are activated and a complex algorithm analyzes the activation sequences to classify and measure the individual fish.

At the same time, a camera records each fish that passes through. The recorded video and the counting parameters are then published on our web interface. Specialists can then identify and assess each of the specimens from the comfort of their own offices or from any other location, provided they have an internet connection. Depending on specific needs, the basic system can also integrate other detection technologies, like PIT tags, radio-frequency identification (RFID), tomography, and AI species recognition.


img-Automated Counter for Fish Populations Monitoring Diagram-EN

Technical specifications

  • Allows the use of several types of detection technologies simultaneously.
  • Counts and classifies fish based on targeted size ranges.
  • Determines in which direction they are travelling.
  • Is adaptable to most locations, environments and fish species.
  • Automatically adapts to environmental fluctuations (turbidity, flow, luminosity and floating debris) for more precise information.
  • Can be installed directly in natural riverbeds or man-made fishways.
  • Records a video of each pass to facilitate studies of multiple species.
  • Produces an accurate and reliable record of other parameters (date and time of the pass, water temperature, turbidity, etc.).
  • Streams real-time digital data and videos to a secure web portal.

Application areas

  • Monitoring and managing fish populations (salmon, sea trout, Arctic char, rainbow trout, Chinook, pink salmon, coho, eel, etc.).
  • Verifying effectiveness of fishways and highway culverts (salmon, trout, shad, sturgeon, walleye, etc.).

Available options

  • Automatic data transmission by telemetry or manual download.
  • Integration of other types of detection technology (PIT tags, RFID, etc.).
  • High-resolution camera to identify species.
  • Stand-alone off-grid power system.
  • Automatic artificial intelligence video identification.