Three lucky anglers who took part in a Coastal Resources Division (CRD) citizen science project were rewarded recently with a bait cooler, fishing gear, and other CRD gear.
Tammy Wilson of Statesboro, Jonathan Davis of Savannah, and Cathy Tampas of Knoxville, Tenn., all participated in CRD’s Cooperative Angler Tagging Program during the past year and were selected as winners by a random drawing. Each winner received an Engel 19-Quart Live Bait Drybox/Cooler, Harper’s Super Striker popping cork, CRD Go Fish! hat, CRD lunch cooler, Hoo-Rag CRD redfish neck gaiter, and other items.
“These anglers all supported CRD’s Cooperative Angler Tagging Program, whether by tagging fish, reporting tagged fish, or donating carcasses to CRD for fishery management projects,” said Jared Flowers, CRD’s Research and Surveys Unit leader. “These citizen scientists are helping our biologists and technicians by helping us collect data that can be used to conserve Georgia’s fisheries for present and future generations.”
CRD’s Cooperative Angler Tagging Program has been ongoing since 1987 and is designed to gather catch-and-movement information on recreationally important finfish species. The program’s primary targets are red drum, black drum, and tripletail. Data collected from tagging anglers includes tag number, trip dates, locations, species, lengths, release conditions, hook removals, and fishing modes. In 2021, nearly 1,800 tags–mostly from red drum–were released and around 300 were returned.
The Marine Sportfish Carcass Recovery Project, a partnership with recreational anglers along the Georgia coast, is used to collect biological data from recreationally harvested finfish such as red drum, spotted seatrout, southern flounder, sheepshead, and southern kingfish since 1997.
Chest freezers are located at public access points along the Georgia coast. Each freezer is clearly marked and contains a supply of plastic bags, pencils, and data cards. Anglers place their filleted whole fish carcasses in a bag along with a completed data card in the freezer. In 2021 there were a total of 4742 donations, with the top three species being Spotted Seatrout, Southern Kingfish, and Red Drum.
To learn how you can become a citizen scientist and take part in the Cooperative Angler Tagging Program, click here.