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Thread: Tagging and releasing

  1. #1
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    Default Tagging and releasing

    What are your thoughts on tagging fish? At the moment we dont have any info on the migratory habits of our trout. I would be interested in knowing for example how many of the hatchling rainbows from the Elandspad find their way into the Holsloot and vice versa. Personally I am against the idea of tagging, because I dont think a tag belongs in a fish as it is unsightly but perhaps microchips are the way to go. Comments please!
    Last edited by Chris Shelton; 29-10-06 at 10:17 AM.

  2. #2
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    I think that tag and releasing can provide very valuable information on the behaviour of trout, provided you have a good degree of angler compliance (reporting tagged fish caught) and then have ability to use it for a scientific purpose.

    In New Zealand we are very fortunate to have an organisation called "Fish & Game" (fishandgame.org.nz) that collects licence revenue and actively protects and promotes fishing for all licenseholders nationwide. They employ staff including scientific fisheries officers who do a lot of work in monitoring the fisheries and using the results to change angling regulations or to lobby against hydro or other adverse develpments on the rivers. Tagging trout is an important tool, particularly to determine migratory behaviour. Any angler who wants to tag trout is given a short training course and all the required equipment. Other monitoring techniques used are drift dive surveys, traps on spawning streams, and sonar counting in deep lakes.

    In SA there is no such organisation so the question is who would analyse the information and provide scientific conclusions to the studies? Perhaps a PHD student would be interested? The anglers on the CPS beats certainly seem very proactive in protecting their streams so I have no doubt that many volunteers could be found to do the tagging. And I am also sure that there would be a good strike rate in reporting the tagged fish. It sounds like a dream for a PHD student - such a willing and knowledgable field force! And if university grants won't completely fund the study I have no doubt that a sponsor could be lined up.

  3. #3
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    Its an interesting debate, I would love to know how the SM and LM Yellows move around the river, how far do they push upstream in spring and how far they drop back in winter. Do they migrate at all, or do they spend the majority of their lives within a short section of river.

    I think it would also yield an interesting set of result on Sterkies, I know those fish travel vast distances and I would love to know if they move right across the impoundment. I believe they are so fit and strong from putting in the mileage, in their search for food. For those who don’t know the dam, there is little food below 3m from the surface, so the fish move to points where the waves and wind bring in more oxygen and the food gets dislodge from the gravel. As the wind changes, the points that are “working” change, so the fish need to move quite often.
    To paint lines on a silver stretch of stream, is to be humbled by nature and to be closer to thy maker.

  4. #4
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    Dyno, I would think that there would be plenty of assistance for any study of yellows as they are native species. The problem would be angler comliance - too many "anglers" would be taking the tags out and eating the fish!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Elliott View Post
    I think that tag and releasing can provide very valuable information on the behaviour of trout, provided you have a good degree of angler compliance (reporting tagged fish caught) and then have ability to use it for a scientific purpose.

    In New Zealand we are very fortunate to have an organisation called "Fish & Game" (fishandgame.org.nz) that collects licence revenue and actively protects and promotes fishing for all licenseholders nationwide. They employ staff including scientific fisheries officers who do a lot of work in monitoring the fisheries and using the results to change angling regulations or to lobby against hydro or other adverse develpments on the rivers. Tagging trout is an important tool, particularly to determine migratory behaviour. Any angler who wants to tag trout is given a short training course and all the required equipment. Other monitoring techniques used are drift dive surveys, traps on spawning streams, and sonar counting in deep lakes.

    In SA there is no such organisation so the question is who would analyse the information and provide scientific conclusions to the studies? Perhaps a PHD student would be interested? The anglers on the CPS beats certainly seem very proactive in protecting their streams so I have no doubt that many volunteers could be found to do the tagging. And I am also sure that there would be a good strike rate in reporting the tagged fish. It sounds like a dream for a PHD student - such a willing and knowledgable field force! And if university grants won't completely fund the study I have no doubt that a sponsor could be lined up.
    Thanks for your valuable input and thoughts on this Kevin. Unfortunately we are on our own in this in South Africa, the few of us that may be interested in the kind of stats that tagging could produce that is, but I do hope that at the very least, through this thread that we can spark some kind of interest. Perhaps there is a young student who would be interested in conducting such a study afterall. I would gladly give of my time and efforts to support such a cause.
    "Innocence is a wild trout. But we humans, being complicated, have to pursue innocence in complex ways" - Datus Proper

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Elliott View Post
    Dyno, I would think that there would be plenty of assistance for any study of yellows as they are native species. The problem would be angler comliance - too many "anglers" would be taking the tags out and eating the fish!
    Kevin, this could be the case with some of the bait fishermen I know, however if a "reward" of say R50.00 per tag returned with full details were offered (to those who wanted one) then it could possibly be overcome.
    I'm sure that there are many like myself who would just note down the tag no, weigh the yellow and send it back on it's life's journey again with no thought of a "return", except knowing that valuable information is being gathered in a database that just might enable our children a chance of catching these wonderful fish
    It's not in the catching, it's in the learning something new.
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  7. #7
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    Has anyone spoken to ORI about this ( Oceanographic Research Institute ) in this country? I know they mostly focus on Sea fishes, but perhaps they can be persuaded to fund something in fresh water.....

    I believe the tagging program is headed up by Elanor Bullen, who is a woman of serious fishing and ocean knowledge and skill.... she by the way holds the world record for the Womens Largest Giant Trevally ( Caranx Ignobilis) of 53.5 kilos caught in Bassas de India in about 1984 off a sail boat..... Nice fish!!!

    Anyway, my 2 cents there.... I'll try get hold of her and see whats cooking.

    Andre
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nepptune View Post
    Has anyone spoken to ORI about this ( Oceanographic Research Institute ) in this country? I know they mostly focus on Sea fishes, but perhaps they can be persuaded to fund something in fresh water.....

    I believe the tagging program is headed up by Elanor Bullen, who is a woman of serious fishing and ocean knowledge and skill.... she by the way holds the world record for the Womens Largest Giant Trevally ( Caranx Ignobilis) of 53.5 kilos caught in Bassas de India in about 1984 off a sail boat..... Nice fish!!!

    Anyway, my 2 cents there.... I'll try get hold of her and see whats cooking.
    Andre
    Hey Nep- Elanor has officially retired, although I think she will still be there for the next couple months, in order to help hand over the reigns...
    I doubt that ORI would help, as they are financed by a trust that arose out of a deceased estate- and I think that it was established for the research of marine fish. I might be wrong, but that's how I have always understood it.

    ORI would, however, probably be the best place to organise tags etc. One would have to pay for them though- ORI no longer simply allows anyone to register as a tagger, due to the costs involved and the fact that many people apply and receive their tagging kits and then never end up tagging a fish.

    We could start up a heated debate around the subject of tagging and the effect it has on the health of the fish. There used to be a bunch of artlure and fly fishermen in the Eastern Cape who were very staunch tagging supporters. They have virtually all stopped tagging now (to my knowledge) as they believe that tagging results in a number of fish catching various diseases at the site of the tag, which then spread throughout the fish. Whether this holds water or not is debatable, but it does make sense to me. I still tag saltwater fish and cant help but think that a tag must do some damage, no matter how well you insert it.


    Kevin

  9. #9
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    Kev

    Thats hellavu interesting stuff...thanks mate. Sad to see Eleanor going, shes a great lady!!!

    Thats interesting to hear about the desease issue with tagging....and rather sad as well... I wonder if this is showing up in fish all over the world or is concetrated in the EC area... I know thousands and thousands of Sailies and such are tagged of the Central American coast each season, where in Ixtapa for example are having 50 to 100 plus fish tagged and released for Sailfish.... I wonder if any sort of study has been performed to determine the damage to fish after being tagged and whether the damage was due to the tag, or the way the fish was handled prior to release or where the tag was placed.... I know tagging practises and equipment have come a long way in the last couple of years....

    Lets dig around and see what we can find.

    Andre
    *** TO RIDE, SHOOT STRAIGHT AND SPEAK THE TRUTH ***

    Some people are like Slinkies.... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

    The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. - Hunter S. Thompson

  10. #10
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    Nep- yeah you are right- I think that a bigger fish would be less affected by a tag as well. But I think there was an article that dealt with it (albeit very briefly) in a past tagging newsletter- I'll dig around and see what I can find.

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