By Hunter Hatcher, DGIF Aquatic Biologist
Photos by Hunter Hatcher
Biologists with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) and researchers from Coastal Carolina University are requesting the help of anglers. A total of 45 muskellunge fish in the upper James River have been implanted with tags to investigate the impacts of catch-and-release mortality on fish during the summer months.
Anglers who capture a tagged fish can report the tag to Cory Bauerlien of Coastal Carolina University via phone or text at 443-974-6171 in exchange for a $50 reward during the June to September study period.
To claim the full reward, anglers will need the fish’s tag number, a photo of the fish with tag visible, and the date, time, and location of their catch. Anglers are also encouraged to report the capture of tagged fish outside of the June to September study period. It is imperative that anglers do not remove tags from fish.
Understanding the impact of catch-and-release mortality on musky will allow DGIF biologists to better manage this unique fishery moving forward.