What do I do if I catch a fish with a tag?

What do I do if I catch a fish with a tag?

As part of the walleye and sauger research being conducted in Dr. Chris Somers’ research program (click here to read more) we now have a number of walleye and sauger tagged in several SK lakes. While the chances of catching one of these walleye or sauger is quite low, it does happen! In fact, at least one fish from each of our study lakes in 2015 has been caught by an angler. Now that we are nearly done our second field season there are additional tagged fish that anglers may come across while fishing.

So, what do you do if you catch one of these fish?

It is important to recognize that there are a variety of other groups who have tagged fish in Saskatchewan so not every tagged fish will be an individual tagged within our study. However, it is important to report a tagged fish regardless of what the tag looks like. Tags can be internal, which you may notice when filleting a fish, or external, which you may notice while angling the fish. Most tags will contain identification information and often an email or phone number to call (as discussed for our tags below). If you cannot find this information on the tag, make note of any information on the tag, and where you caught the fish, and call your closest fishery biologist to report your finding (Directory here). Having a picture for reference is always a good idea.

What do our tags look like? 

The tags for this research program consist of two external parts: 1) A plastic blue Floy loop tag which is attached to the fish, and 2) an acoustic transmitter which is attached to the loop tag (see photos). Most of our acoustic transmitters are only semi-permanent, so often the only tag remaining on the fish when caught is the plastic blue floy tag. The blue floy tags contain the important identification and contact information that you will need to report this tag.

Acoustic transmitter tag.
Acoustic transmitter tag.
Loop floy tag which contains and identification number (e.g., 040) and a phone number to report the tag.
Loop floy tag which contains and identification number (e.g., 040) and a phone number to report the tag.
Acoustic tag attached to a loop floy tag behind the dorsal fin
Acoustic tag attached to a loop floy tag behind the dorsal fin
An dark coloured Sauger that was successfully tagged and released.
A dark coloured Sauger outfitted with an acoustic transmitter.

Where do we have tagged fish? 

We have fish tagged in Last Mountain lake (walleye only), Diefenbaker Lake (walleye & sauger), Buffalo Pound Lake (walleye only), and Tobin Lake (walleye only).

Lakes where walleye are tagged

 

What do I do if I catch a walleye or sauger with one of these tags? 

If you happen to catch a walleye or sauger with one of the tags shown above we encourage you to:

  1. Record the identification and contact info on the tag. The tag will contain a 3 digit identification code (e.g., 040).
  2. Make note of the fish condition as well as where and when you caught it.
  3. If time permits, take a quick picture of the fish and tag.
  4. Release or keep the fish as you normally would.
  5. At your next convenience, give the phone number on the tag a call and have a chat with us! We also have a message machine for after hours.

Tight lines!

4 Comments

  • Terry Schafer

    July 9, 2017 at 2:22 pm Reply

    Caught a walleye at Diefenbaker Lake, July 8, 2017 at approx. 5 pm. Tag 0534. Fish was in good condition.

    • becca.eberts@gmail.com

      October 10, 2017 at 7:10 pm Reply

      Hi Terry, would you mind reporting this fish to chris.somers@uregina.ca? Great catch!!

  • caught by reg barkwell

    October 10, 2017 at 7:02 pm Reply

    caught oct 5th 2017 #1482 pickerel in Pasqua Lake on the north side .. fish was not released .. taken home and eaten. Size was about 17 5/8 inches long .. not weighted & fish was a very healthy male.

    • becca.eberts@gmail.com

      October 10, 2017 at 7:09 pm Reply

      That’s fantastic to hear! You can report this fish to chris.somers@uregina.ca (should be the email printed on the tag). Great job!!

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