Acoustic telemetry studies often rely on the assumption that premature tag failure does not affect the validity of inferences. However, in some cases this assumption is possibly or likely invalid and it is necessary to apply a correction to estimation procedures. The question of which approaches and specific models are best suited to modeling acoustic tag failures has received little research attention. In this short communication, we present a meta-analysis of 42 acoustic tag-life studies, originally used to correct survival studies involving outmigrating juvenile salmonids in the Columbia/Snake river basin. We compare the performance of nine alternative parametric models including common failure-time/survival models and the vitality models of Li and Anderson (2009 and 2013). The tag-life studies used acoustic tags from three different tag manufacturers, had expected lifetimes between 12 and 61 days, and had dry weights ranging from 0.22 to 1.65 grams. In 57% of the cases, the vitality models of Li and Anderson (2009 and 2013) fit the tag failure-times best. The vitality models were also the second-best choices in 17% of the cases. Together, the vitality models, log-logistic, (19%), and gamma models (14%) accounted for 90% of the models selected. Unlike more traditional failure-time models (e.g., Weibull, Gompertz, gamma, and log-logistic), the vitality models are capable of characterizing both the early onset of tag failure due to manufacturing errors and the anticipated battery life. We provide further guidance on appropriate sample sizes (50–100 tags) and procedures to be considered when applying precise tag-life corrections in release-recapture survival studies.