Unicoi Outfitters is north Georgia's premier guide service and fly fishing outfitter, located on the Chattahoochee River near alpine Helen. Look for fishing reports, gear and book reviews, and general musings here from our staff and guides.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tagged Fish on the Toccoa River Tailwater

This just in from Ralph Artigliere, the president of the Blue Ridge Mountain chapter of Trout Unlimited:

WE NEED YOUR HELP for an important fish study in progress by Georgia Department of Natural Resources. There is a drawing for a Georgia Lifetime Sportsman’s License for one lucky person who participates in the study, but the real benefit for all of us is important scientific information about the fish and the fishery.

DNR has been studying trout in the Toccoa River tailwater, and Region I Fisheries Biologist John Damer needs to upgrade the detail of data by tagging stocked fish to get more specific information about individual fish. To accomplish this tagging study, fishermen who catch a tagged fish should report their catch by telephone and mail in the tag. Just doing those two things makes the fisherman eligible for the drawing AND enhances the data and Mr. Damer’s ability to understand and improve the fishery. Just follow these easy steps if you catch a rainbow trout with a GREEN tag.

1. Remove the tag by cutting it with a knife, nippers, etc., as close as possible to the fish's body (do not pull the tag out of the fish if you plan to release it, as this will likely injure the fish severely). You can then keep or release the fish as you would do normally.
2. Call the Calhoun Fisheries office at 706-624-1161 to report the tag. Make sure you have the tag number ready when you call.
3. The person you talk to over the phone will ask you a few questions about when, where, and how you caught the fish and then they will provide you with an address where you should mail the tag. Please make sure to mail the tag in, because only tags that we physically receive back will be entered into the drawing for a Lifetime Sportsman's License. Even if you do not wish to be entered into the drawing, please still mail the tag back as it is important in calculating estimates of non-reporting (how many anglers catch tagged fish but do not report them).


-Tags are green, about 1.5" long, and implanted on the fish's left side just below the dorsal fin.
-Roughly 600 tagged rainbows will be stocked each month from March through August. (Tagged fish are already in the river as of this announcement on March 25).
-The drawing for the lifetime license will be held sometime in Spring 2010, and only ONE license will be awarded.

JOHN DAMER ASKED US TO PASS ON THE FOLLOWING: “Please send my thanks to anyone who returns a tag, as it means a lot to the State of Georgia AND to me personally. Hopefully the information gathered through these tag returns will help us to better understand the trout fishery on the Toccoa River, and to make good, sound decisions about how it will be managed in the future.”

Blue Ridge Mountain Trout Unlimited is supporting this study by furnishing the Lifetime Sportsman’s License and by encouraging fishermen to report tagged fish. This is an important study for Georgia and for those who love to fish for trout, so please take the time to report tagged fish and to mail in the tag.

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