Game Fish Tagging

Game Fish Tagging Program

NSW Fisheries reminds anglers to return tag cards.

As the warm water game fishing season winds down, this is a great time to remind all anglers and boats to return their completed tag cards to their local game fishing club or directly back to the tagging program. All tag cards have a replied paid on the back so they can simply be placed into your closest mailbox. Alternatively, completed tag cards can be emailed to NSW Fisheries tag

NSW Fisheries are still awaiting the original release information for many tagged fish from past seasons. Please have a look around and send back your completed cards, even if they are several years old as they may still match up with a recaptured fish that is in the database. The data and information on every individual tag card plays an important role in understanding the movement and distribution of game fish and pelagic species. NSW Fisheries tag

As a bonus, all tag cards received from now until the end of June 2022 will go into the draw to win a Game Fish Tagging Program T-shirt!

Also if you are lucky enough to catch a tagged, be sure to report it online by using the online recapture form.

What to do if you catch a tagged fish

Whenever you catch a fish, examine the dorsal area of both sides of the fish to see if a tag is present. The tags may only be just showing or may be obscured by marine growth if they have been in the fish for a long time. NSW Fisheries tag

If you catch a billfish, shark, tuna or other listed sportfish that is already tagged, carefully record the tag number or cut off the old tag and re-tag the fish with a new tag. Tags that look old may indicate that the fish have been at large for a long time and these long-term recaptures are particularly valuable.

Record all recovery information on the new tag card, if you don’t have a new tag, you may release the fish again with the same tag. Please ensure that you record the tag number, species, date, location and GPS co-ordinates, estimated size (or actual size if landed) and condition of fish on release. If you decide to take the fish, record the capture details on the attached tear-off slip.

One other point regarding reporting recaptures of tagged fish should be kept in mind. In these days of nearly 100% release of game fish, previously tagged fish are quite often caught and re-released without being able to retrieve the earlier tag. If you do hook and release a fish which has a tag in place, and you are not able to retrieve the tag, you should still record the details (even though the tag number is unknown) and report the release to NSW DPI as a genuine recapture. In this way, better statistics on actual recapture rates of game fish will be able to be maintained. NSW Fisheries tag

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