Scientists and the Departments Of Natural Resources through Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina tag fish for many reasons. Tagging is crucial to monitor populations, where they live, how they move, and when they die. With the information gathered, fish populations are better managed by adjusting size restrictions and bag limits imposed on anglers. Fish are tagged with electronic sensors and bands. Here is what to know about fish tags.

What Is A Fish Tag

Two varieties of tags are affixed to fish. The first is bands and the second are electronic. 

Electronic Tags

Electronic tags gather real-time data compared to bands. Real-time data includes the position and movement of the fish in addition to environmental measurements. An electronic receiver records data compared to physically catching and logging the location and size of the fish. 

Jaw Tags

Jaw tags lack the ability to transmit electronically but still remain fundamental in supplying data to better manage fish populations. The tags are placed on the fish’s lips and are etched with an identification number. When the fish is originally tagged, the length, weight, and location is noted. Anglers who catch the same tagged fish are asked to report the same information to gather the growth rate and migration of the fish over time. 

Can You Keep A Tagged Fish

Tagged fish are not required to be released. Agencies request anglers release tagged fish. Released fish are capable of gathering additional data.

When a tagged fish is caught, determine whether you would like to keep the fish for dinner or release it to allow for continued tracking. The decision can be challenging when the situation presents itself. 

Why Do We Tag Fish

Scientists insert tags with the purpose of gathering data. Without data, we would be unable to manage our resources as efficiently and accurately as possible. Tagging is critical to long-term health.

Consider the future if the efforts put forward today were not in place to preserve healthy populations of fish of all size ranges. Without proper management, the ability to catch sizable fish and locate fish at all would be in jeopardy due to overfishing. The tagging of fish plays a fundamental role in management. 

Marine life professionals analyze data collected via fish tags. The data provides detailed information which allows scientists to determine the health of the population. Removing fish too early lessens the number of hatchlings born annually. 

We are responsible for following regulations put in place by the government. Scientists carefully study the details provided by fish tagging. The results help determine adjustments to fishing regulations. The annual adjustments keep populations in check. 

Does Tagging Fish Hurt

The process of attaching a tag to a fish does little or no harm. Consider the tag insertion to be comparable to a hook set in the mouth.

While a minimal amount of tissue damage will occur, the great cause of injury is mishandling. Improperly handling fish results in death or injury. Fish held out of the water for extended periods, squeezed tightly, or receive injuries to the gills are unlikely to survive. Hold the fish cautiously when handling.

Remember to hold the tag in hand when netting the fish. Make the process as short as possible and use caution when holding the fish. 

Do Fisherman Get Paid For Tagging Fish

Organizations create programs to pay anglers by recording and reporting measurements. The reward persuades anglers to share data. The data is valuable information to those performing studies. 

Despite the small payout, anglers benefit it receiving money to cover the partial cost of bait or other fishing supplies compared to coming strictly out of pocket. Earning money while fishing for pleasure is challenging to pass up.

To find fish tagging programs in your area, search fish tagging near me. Contact local fish tagging organizations. Organizations guide how to become involved in a good cause. Your involvement protects marine life in your area and maybe even earns a few extra dollars in the process. Check out the North Carolina tagging program.

Fish Tags Play A Fundamental Role In Managing Fish Across The Country

While the salt and freshwater fishing in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina provides endless opportunities for anglers, it is thanks in part to research attributed to fish tags. The tagging of fish gathers crucial information. Volunteer to become part of a fish tagging team or do your part in measuring and reporting previously tagged fish. No matter how you help, information received aids in managing the populations of fish for anglers to enjoy. Lastly follow the fishing regulations in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia.