Semidiurnal tidal currents can exceed 5 ms−1 in Minas Passage, Bay of Fundy, where a tidal energy demonstration area has been designated to generate electricity using marine hydrokinetic turbines. The risk of harmful fish–turbine interaction cannot be dismissed for either migratory or local fish populations. Individuals belonging to several fish populations were acoustically tagged and monitored by using acoustic receivers moored within the Minas Passage. Detection efficiency ρ is required as the first step to estimate the probability of fish–turbine encounter. Moored Innovasea HR2 receivers and high-residency (HR) tags were used to obtain detection efficiency ρ as a function of range and current speed, for near-seafloor signal paths within the tidal energy development area. Strong tidal currents moved moorings, so HR tag signals and their reflections from the sea surface were used to measure ranges from tags to receivers. HR2 self-signals that reflected off the sea surface showed which moorings were displaced to lower and higher levels on the seafloor. Some of the range testing paths had anomalously low ρ, which might be attributed to variable bathymetry blocking the line-of-sight signal path. Clear and blocked signal paths accord with mooring levels. The application of ρ is demonstrated for the calculation of abundance, effective detection range, and detection-positive intervals. High-residency signals were better detected than pulse position modulation (PPM) signals. Providing that the presently obtained ρ applies to tagged fish that swim higher in the water column, there is a reasonable prospect that probability of fish–turbine encounter can be estimated by monitoring fish that carry HR tags.