The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries is offering anglers a special reward for reporting and returning any tags caught with certain fish species. Division researchers are studying the migration, growth, habitat use and population status of striped bass, red drum, spotted sea trout and southern flounder in North Carolina. Other recent division tagging studies include dolphin, yellow perch and white perch.
Such fish tagging programs are a vital part of a fishery manager’s tools for assessing fish populations. Conducted properly, tagging can yield a wealth of information about movement patterns, habitat utilization, population structure and mortality rates of fish.
All fishermen who encounter tagged fish are asked to return the tag data. It is only through returned tag and species information that the division collects the data necessary for this tagging program to succeed.
When you encounter a tagged fish, please cut off the tag(s), then write down the tag number, catch date, location and total length of the fish. Save the tag and other information, and call the division at 800-682-2632 or report the tag on-line at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/report-tag-online. Those who return red tags to the division with the catch information will receive a $100 reward. Those returning yellow tags will receive a hat, $5 or other reward. All tag returns are also entered into a division end of year drawing.
This study began on July 1, 2014. This project is funded through the Coastal Recreational Fishing License program.
Hats off to the principal investigators that include Steve Poland – Spotted Seatrout (Steve.Poland@ncdenr.gov); Sean Darsee – Striped Bass (Sean.Darsee@ncdenr.gov); Michael Loeffler – Southern Flounder (Michael.Loeffler@ncdenr.gov); Lee Paramore – Red Drum (Lee.Paramore@ncdenr.gov); Laura Lee – Stock Assessment (Laura.Lee@ncdenr.gov).