The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently tagged and released 3,000 walleye across multiple Saginaw Bay tributary rivers as part of a research project. Anglers who catch certain tagged can earn $100 by reporting their catches to DNR. About 10 percent of the tags contain a $100 reward when reported.
There's an estimated 2.2 million walleye age two or older in the Saginaw Bay and nearby areas of Lake Huron. More than 100,000 walleye have been tagged since the program began in 1981, but the cash reward for reporting a catch began within the last several years as a way to increase reporting and ensure more accurate data.
David Fielder, PhD. research biologist out of the DNR’s Alpena Fisheries Research Station,said:
The information reported is essential to measuring the health of the population and is critical data for planning the future management decisions needed to protect and enhance this important fishery.Besides ensuring the walleye fishery remains sustainable, we also annually estimate the population size with the aid of these tag reports.
In recent years,Several states have started fish tagging programs as an important tool in the management of fish populations. When conducted properly, tagging can provide a wealth of information about movement patterns, habitats, and mortality rates.
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