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Got a tagged flattie in the same spot I caught one with a tag stem last year. Called it in about a week ago and got the results back.

The fish was caught September 6, 2005 at a length of 12.6 inches, and in a little less than 4 years it grew to 21.0 inches, a difference of 8.4 inches. That's just a few inches a year, even at a young age. The fish was tagged near Le Sueur and I caught it downstream roughly 20 river miles. I believe EC30_06 still has the pictures.

Just a reminder to be on the lookout for tagged fish...It's one of the first things I do once I've unhooked a fish and taken a length...many times the tag will be covered in algal growth and will be camoflauged brown against a mottled brown surface making it difficult to see. Always check catfish for tags near the dorsal fin.

Tagged fish could be caught anywhere in the Minnesota from Hutchinson's lengthy tagging efforts and more recent DNR research studies, and a huge bunch of channels and flats were tagged in the St. Croix this spring. Both Minnesota and St. Croix River fish are liable to end up in the Mississippi.

Interestingly, the DNR researcher mentioned that a few fish had been called in already from his Le Sueur River sample stretch from the last 3 years...One fish was caught again in Le Sueur and another was captured this spring near Redwood Falls...it just shows you how much these fish can move, particularly in the prespawn.

If you fish LeSueur, Henderson, or St. Peter, you probably saw the signs about radiotagged fish, and they are again in play this year (although they will be replaced since they are a little faded from being underwater this spring). If you catch a fish, especially one with a radiotag (I will try to post a picture of this later), please record species, length, tag number, location caught, and release the fish with the tag in place. Pass the information along to the local DNR fisheries office (if it has a radiotag) or use the DNR tag reporting webpage

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The fish was caught September 6, 2005 at a length of 12.6 inches, and in a little less than 4 years it grew to 21.0 inches, a difference of 8.4 inches. That's just a few inches a year, even at a young age. The fish was tagged near Le Sueur and I caught it downstream roughly 20 river miles.

That's incredible! Like you eluded too, even at a young age, that seams like a very low growth rate. Which begs the question... if fish under 30" long are growing 2" or less per year, how much length are these big girls putting on yearly? Simple math says a 20 year old fish growing 2" per year is a 40 incher. That means we're not quite to the size of a 40lb plus fish. Are our 40+ pounders 25-30 years old or older?

I don't need to reiterate that stats like that reinforce a catch & release philosophy, pretty stinkin' obvious.

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Another example, based in facts, of why catfish(particularly the bigger flatheads) need more protection in this state. Thanks for the article. I keep an bleary eye open for tags, but sometimes its tough enough when I'm wearing beer goggles to hit the water w/ my bait smile.

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So I was looking at some of my cat pictures and the 44.5x25.5" fish I caught seems to have something on the dorsal fin on each picture. Could this be a tag?


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Thats what I was thinking also just a plain old helicopter

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Hookmaster
      Kudos for doing this. I'm sure a lot of fishermen would not have.
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      Those are some fine specimens. Great job
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    • Brianf.
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