Fish Tagging

This was written for my JRN 472 class in February 2011.

In an effort to keep track of and restore fish communities in the Great Lakes, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources will being mass marking of chinook salmon in mid-March.

About 225,000 small salmon will be marked, according to a press release from the department. These salmon are due to be stocked in Lake Michigan in the spring. The marking is meant to determine reproduction levels, agency survival parameters and survival data from each of the three stocking sites.

The fish will be tagged when they are 3 inches long and released when they are 4 inches long. The tracking device will be put in by removing the adipose fin of the fish, but will not be visible to the naked eye, according to the release. Biologists will be able to spot a marked fish by its clipped adipose fin.

Mass marking of fish is expanding throughout the Great Lakes due to an increase in federal funding. For example, Wisconsin is also currently tracking Chinook salmon for a research study using a similar tagging method, according to the DNR’s wenbsite. The Indiana DNR will continue this effort with trout and other species of salmon in the future.

For more information, contact the Indiana Department of Natural Resources or visit http://www.in.gov/dnr/.

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