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Newly redesigned ASMFC Cooperative Tagging Website has launched!
April 22, 2011

The purpose of this website is to promote communication and coordination between researchers, tagging programs, and the general public, and to ensure that the programs are successful and the best tagging practices are used. There are a number of different features and sections of the website, accessible from the links at the top of the page.

  • About Tagging - Learn about the science of tagging, different kinds of tags that are used, and cool results from some Atlantic coast tagging projects
  • Caught a Tagged Fish? - Be prepared the next time you catch a tagged fish with these tips on measuring, handling, and recording the right information to report
  • Get Involved - Learn how to get involved with tagging and use our Program Search Tool to find a tagging program in your area or for the species you're interested in
  • Tag Identification - Tags are printed with the contact information for the program that released them, so if you have a tag, contact that organization directly for more information. But if you can't read the tag, or don't have it anymore, you can use this search page to find out which program might have released that tag
  • Program Certification - ASMFC certifies well-designed tagging programs. Learn more about the certification process and download an application here

24th Cooperative Winter Tagging Effort Completed, but Activities Restricted Due to Lack of Funding
March 2, 2011

While the long running Cooperative Winter Tagging Cruise was not able to conduct a full research vessel, trawl-based cruise this year due to lack of funding, it was able to conduct striped bass tagging operations with the help of its state and federal partners. Historically funded by NOAA Fisheries (through use of one of its survey vessels, or provision of charter funds) and supported with in kind contributions from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS), the Commission, Maryland DNR-Fisheries Service, NC Division of Marine Fisheries (NC DMF)and numerous additional state fishery agencies and universities, the Tagging Cruise provides important data for the striped bass stock assessment, as well as other ASMFC species. In order to keep the striped bass time series intact, all the partners worked together, with the assistance of additional partners -- Paul Caruso, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, who coordinates the Massachusetts component of the cooperative coastwide striped bass program, and Randy Gregory, NC DMF, who coordinated the North Carolina dolphinfish tagging program -- to implement a cruise in 2011. Thanks to NC DMF, USFWS was able to charter a sportfishing vessel for one day to conduct tagging operations using hook and line. The necessary permits were issued by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, and the National Marine Fisheries Service Southeast Region. A total of 108 striped bass were tagged. An additional trip was scheduled, but was aborted due to adverse weather.

Tagging cruise partners are working together to secure future long-term funding to continue conducting the cruise using a federal research vessel and the traditional trawl gear. Use of this gear has proven not only efficient, but also enables the collection of data on multiple Commission-managed species, including Atlantic sturgeon, spiny dogfish weakfish, summer flounder and alosine species, such as shad and river herring. Collection of the fish via hook and line provides data only for striped bass.

For more information about the Tagging Cruise, please contact Wilson Laney, USFWS, at (919) 515-5019 or wilson_laney@fws.gov.

23rd Annual USFWS Cooperative Winter Tagging Cruise Completed
February 15-28, 2010

Technical difficulties delayed the start of the cruise this year, but once underway, the cruise was a success. Researchers tagged striped bass (right), sturgeon, and spiny dogfish, and measured and counted a number of other species, including river herring, skates, and weakfish. This cruise has been going on since 1988.




For questions about fish tagging on freshwater, contact your state agency.
For additional information about tagging in marine waters contact Jeff Kipp at jkipp@asmfc.org

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission