Georgia anglers who catch tagged fish can earn hats, t-shirts, and prizes

The DNR releases new method of reporting catches

By Rebecca Barry - Meteorologist

Capt Don Dingman and charter client show off a tagged redfish before release.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Georgia anglers who catch tagged saltwater fish have a new way to report their catches and earn rewards including T-shirts, hats and other gear.

The Coastal Resources Division (CRD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources today announced the launch of an online form at this link to report tagged red drum, black drum and tripletail. The effort is part of the Cooperative Angler Tagging Project, which has tagged more than 7,000 fish since it began in 1998.

Sometimes the most difficult aspect of recapturing tagged fish, is recognizing that the fish is tagged. Fish tags look like small plastic tubes sticking out of the fish, usually about the diameter of a coffee stirrer and a few inches long. They often get covered in algae or other moss-like plant growth. If you clean the tag off there is usually contact information and tag identification numbers on the tube itself. 

If you catch a tagged fish you plan to release you can pull the tag out of the fish before release, or write down the contact information and tag identification number on the tag before releasing the fish, and leave the tag in place. 

The information from tagged fish yields life history data, including growth, movement and habitat preference, explained Donna McDowell, the project’s coordinator.  

“This project helps CRD track different species and gives us a better picture of the health of our fishery,” McDowell said. “We wouldn’t be able to do this project without the anglers up and down Georgia’s coast to help report these fish and play an important role in conserving our saltwater fisheries.”

CRD encourages anglers to bookmark this link on their smartphones and report fish as they are caught. The website is responsive, meaning it automatically resizes for easy viewing on smartphones and other devices. Anglers can even upload a photo of their fish to send to CRD.

In appreciation for reporting a tag recapture, anglers receive a reward. Additionally, both the tagging angler and the angler who reported the recapture receive a report that gives the history of the fish. Included in the report are the date, location, size and equivalent information on the recapture.

Anglers can still report tagged fish by calling 912-264-7218 or by mailing recapture information to Coastal Resources Division, Attention: Cooperative Angler Tagging Project, One Conservation Way, Brunswick, GA 31520.

For more information, visit this link or call Donna McDowell at 912-264-7218.

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