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Have you gotten info back on tagged fish?

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Schnauzer

I got info back on two (of many) fish this past weekend. I had tagged fish that I had reported both before and after the ones included in the weekend replies that I have yet to hear from. You can tell it is a government operation - The two fish reported this weekend were caught on the same day and reported on the same card but they managed to send two different letters with two different envelopes.

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Schnauzer

Yes, one had been caught by DNR electro fishing on the far east side in April and I caught it on the north end sand just out from the wealthwood PA in mid June. I figure it had wandered at least 10-15 miles. The other story was a little more bland: The fish had been let go after being caught on a launch basically on the same spot just a couple days prior to me catching it.

I guess they are going to publish FULL histories of all the marked fish on their website later this fall. It will be fun to look the same fish up to see how many times they were caught and where they were caught.

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Guest

Yes, i think the study will help anglers as well. 10-15 miles is amazing. Just goes to show how low the bait fish pop was in the spring. Or possibly your fish returns to the east side to spawn every year? Pretty interesting stuff.

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vikes40for60

Schnauzer,

Government managed bureaucracy at its finest with these types of programs/studies. Small miracle that any of you that sent these in got a response. Be honest D-man, was it just two e-mails that you sent inquiring?

Is it just me or does anyone else imagine a room full of those little post cards and one PC with 1500 new e-mails and some flustered looking DNR dude with a look of helplessness. "Uhhhhhh now what we gonna do?"

If they have these "additional results" out by October, it will be something else. But in the end, what will it do? Thats where I am most confused. Sure this study gives you data. But, if the DNR and the politicians hands are tied dealing with treaties and other regulations. What results will come of the data? Can anyone draw conclusions from this data that will help the lake survive and flourish for the future?

Question of the day unless someone else has some thoughts.....

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huskminn

Vikes,

My only thought on what they'll do with the data......if the DNR can show that the same fish are being caught over and over, it will support their theories that hooking mortality is high and that the overall population is not as big as Dick Sternberg says it is.

I guess we'll have to reserve judgement until we can get our hands on ALL the data.

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Hoyter

Wouldn't data that shows the same fish is being caught over and over point to hooking mortality being LOWER than the DNR estimates instead of higher as stated above? I still believe the mortality estimates are too high and that is what's destroying the non-band harvest numbers. As far as I can tell, mortality numbers have never been used to determine harvest levels or quotas in the past (or at least it wasn't apparent).

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kwkfsh

One of the benefits of tagging is to figure out total population. If they tag 30,000 fish, and we catch 300,000, with a tagged catch of 3000, it can be assumed that the total population is approx 3,000,000. These are just round numbers for easy math. it is harder to get mortality from tagging but if you end up with 10% less tagged fish each subsequent year you can assume a mortality of 10% from various reasons. also there are number of things that can be done to reduce hooking mortality. Keep fish in the water when unhooking, use nets with tanglefree netting, take fast photos, and use circle hooks with live bait. If you have not tried circle hooks give them a try, with them swallowed hooks is a thing of the past 99% of the time. There is a reason that commercial longline fisherman stake their paychecks on them!!!

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Schnauzer

One little unrelated note regarding the tagged Mille Lacs Walleye...

The tags are bright yellow and easy to see. However, I almost threw back a tagged fish without seeing the tag in July. It had been overgrown with algae/scum that happened to match the walleye skin perfectly. I caught it in time and recorded it(after wiping it off) before letting it go but I wonder if I missed any others. I also wonder how many tagged fish weren't recorded because of the scum that grew over the tags.

[This message has been edited by Schnauzer (edited 09-05-2002).]

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Hoyter

I caught and released two tagged fish in May that I didn't report. I learned that evening that I didn't have anything to write with in my boat and my memory just isn't that good. I would imagine there are others who had the same problem.

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