One thing I like to do if I plan on releasing the fish that I catch is to tag them. It can be quick and simple if you have everything you need handy. Being in a kayak complicates things a little, but not enough to deter me. LDWF and CCA Louisiana have a joint program called the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program that you can sign up for and they will send you everything you need to start tagging. This data is then used in tagging studies and they will update you when a fish is caught that you’ve previously tagged. I have yet to have anyone recapture one of my fish and I think I have tagged around 50 fish.
Along with the tags you receive a tool to insert the tag into the fish and a form you will need to fill out and send back to CCA Louisiana. They also give you a pen and a Rite in the Rain pad. I usually fill the form out at home and use the Rite in the Rain pad to jot down my notes. You will need to measure the fish and identify the location you caught it with GPS points. You can use a GPS or do what I do. I use Google Earth once I get home and locate where I was at. It shortens the time I have the fish off the water. There is a spot on the form to identify weight, I don’t believe it is required, but you can weigh the fish as well. Then there are some general questions about what type of lure you used and how the fish took to the release. I have found that I tag more fish when everything is handy, so I keep the kit in a ziploc in my dry hatch or in my milkcrate. I also keep the fish in my net in the water when I’m jotting down notes.
Check out this program if you currently catch and release fish from time to time, I know they could always use more taggers. It is free and you don’t have to be a member of CCA. I believe it is open to any marine game fish species, so tag away at specks, reds, flounder, cobia, tripletail, whatever. Click on the link below for more info.
|Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program|
|Tony Berrigan, Coordinator|