Fifteen lucky fishermen won $100 each in a recent N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Multi-Species Tagging Program yearly drawing.
The tagging program randomly selected tag numbers from more than 645 fish tags that were turned in by fishermen in 2019. Three tag numbers were selected from each of the five species that are tagged by the program.
The division tags cobia, red drum, striped bass, southern flounder and spotted seatrout throughout the estuarine and ocean waters of North Carolina. While all tagged fish are released in North Carolina waters, due to the migratory nature of many of these species, tags can be returned from North Carolina or out of state.
The $100 winners who turned in tags for cobia were: Chandler Rosso of Hampton, Va., Marty Bull of Tasley, Va., and Tom Ritter of Norfolk, Va.
The $100 winners who turned in tags for red drum were: Brandon Manypenny of Wilmington, Patrick Woodard of Winterville, and Mark Daughtry of Wilmington.
The $100 winners who turned in tags for striped bass were: Chris Paul of Roanoke Rapids, Jim Minor of Ooltewah, Tenn., and Steve Freeman of Kernersville.
The $100 winners who turned in tags for southern flounder were: Russ Varney of Lexington, Steve Tronu of Newport, and Ronald Byrd of Wilson.
The $100 winners who turned in tags for spotted seatrout were: Todd Schaffer of Wilmington, Ricky Carroll of Virginia Beach, Va., and David Beresoff of Bolivia.
The Multi-Species Tagging Program began in October 2014 and is funded by a Coastal Recreational Fishing License grant. Staff and volunteers place yellow or red tags on 15,000 fish each year.
Fishermen who catch the tagged fish and return the tags with required information to the division receive a letter and personalized certificate with information about the fish, as well as a reward. Those who return a yellow tag marked with “NCDMF” receive either $5, a tagging program hat, fish towel, or fish pin. Those who return a red tag marked with “NCDMF” and “$100 REWARD” receive a $100 monetary reward.
Fishermen must record the species, tag number, date, location captured, total length of the fish, fate of the fish (released or harvested) and the type of gear used to capture the fish. Yellow tags may be reported by phone, but red tags must be cut-off and returned to the division for the fisherman to receive the reward.
Information gathered from tag returns allows researchers to determine species migration patterns, mortality, population structure and habitat use. For more information about the Multi-Species Tagging Program, visit http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/tagged-fish [portal.ncdenr.org] or contact Michael Loeffler at 252-264-3911 or Michael.Loeffler@ncdenr.gov.