SDOF Needs Fish Tagging Help

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Posted by tleemay on November 06, 2002 at 14:44:03:

November 6, 2002
San Diego Oceans Foundation

Angler and Diver Support Needed in Fish Tagging Project

San Diego, CA The San Diego Oceans Foundation is looking for anglers
and divers to help aid one of the most ambitious artificial reef
tagging programs in history. Data from the project will improve
understanding of fish movement patterns between artificial and
natural reefs, fish growth, habitat preferences and provide new
information on the recruitment versus attraction debate, surrounding
artificial reef design.

"Cooperation and participation from a wide range of fishermen and
divers is the key to the success of our tagging effort," said
Operations Director Noelle Barger of the San Diego Oceans Foundation,
which is implementing the program. "Any angler that can provide catch
information or diver that sights a tagged fish should report it
immediately to the Foundation. It's important we receive full
cooperation with the fishing and diving communities, as the results of
the tagging study will be used for assessing artificial reef
productivity and design, possibly increasing our understanding of the
benefits of artificial reefs."

Nearly 2,000 tags are expected to be attached to fish in four
distinct marine environments off San Diego's coast. These will include the Ruby E, a former Coast Guard Cutter that was purposefully
sunk in 1989; the NOSC Tower, which fell to the ocean floor during
the El Nino storm in 1988; the HMCS Yukon, a surplus Canadian Navy
Destroyer which was cleaned, prepared, and sunk in 2000 by SDOF as an
artificial reef; and the La Jolla kelp beds. Fish species that will
be targeted include: sheephead, barred sandbass, kelp bass, cabezon,
rockfish, surfperch, and lingcod. Recently the California Department
of Fish & Game closed the sport fishery for some of these species,
however anglers are encouraged to report their catch and release
information, specifically noting the tag number and the catch

SDOF has blanketed area tackle and dive shops with posters on this
reward-marking program. Each fishermen and diver who reports catch or
sight information will be entered into a monthly drawing for great
prizes like diving gear and fishing tackle. In addition, a $5.00
reward is being offered to any fisher who returns a Floy tag, with
the valuable catch information to SDOF. There will be tag drop-off
locations located at each major fishing landing accompanied with tag
recovery forms. Tag findings or sightings may also be reported to
SDOF online at (a simplified report-form has been
posted to SDOF's home page) or by calling Noelle Barger (619) 523-

The T-bar or Floy anchor tags are thin strips of colored plastic
carrying contact information for the project. The tags are attached
to the dorsal fin and are individually numbered and color-coded (i.e.
hot pink, white and yellow). The use of external tags for identifying
individuals or groups of fish is the oldest and most widely used
technique applied. The justification for any type of tag on a fish is
the future recovery or recapture and the adjoining information.
Tagging is done quite rapidly with a tagging gun in the same way as
clothes are frequently marked in shops. All fish are safe to eat once
the tag has been removed.

The San Diego Oceans Foundation is an 18-year-old non-profit
rganization devoted to the stewardship of the region's marine waters
and their living resources. The Foundation conducts various projects
with volunteer assistance and balances ocean user needs with
environmental protection. The primary programs revolve around
underwater research, fisheries restoration, pollution prevention and
marine science education for the benefit of users of the ocean
-- San Diego's finest resource. For more information, visit their
website at or call Noelle Barger at (619) 523-1903.

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