The Sacramento Delta Smelt is an endangered species which is considered a "canary in the coalmine" for the health of the entire ecosystem of the Sacramento Delta in California. Traditional methods for surveying their populations necessarily involve killing the fish. Boulder Labs worked with a local entrepreneur to develop a product that can perform non-lethal population surveys.
The process begins with a high-speed underwater video camera that is attached to a trawl net and towed behind a boat. The software, processing approximately 5GB of data per minute in real time, isolates and tracks objects -- including fish, debris, and plants-- as they pass through the video frame. These objects are then classified as one of several different delta fish species, or rejected as a different kind of object. Identified species can then be correlated with location and water quality data to better understand their population distribtions.
For more information about this project, please see our customer's website: http://sure.works/smeltcam