Interagency Largemouth Bass Tagging Project on Potomac River Underway

A tagged largemouth bass. Photo courtesy of Maryland Department of Natural Resources

By Molly Kirk

DWR fisheries staff is working together with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the D.C. Department of Energy and Environment (DEE), and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission (PRFC) on a multi-year, cooperative study of the popular largemouth bass fishery of the tidal Potomac River. The four organizations have developed a strategy to monitor the fishery and generate an assessment every three years in order to estimate abundances for stock, quality, and preferred sizes of largemouth bass using a combination of electrofishing, mark-recapture and creel surveys. Angler-generated data will be added to fisheries surveys to better manage the resource.

“These organizations have previously worked together to share information and better inform mutual constituencies concerning population status,  but this cooperative tagging project is unprecedented in terms of a regional effort to better manage this iconic fishery,” said DWR Fisheries Biologist John Odenkirk. “We hope anglers will support us and report catch and release locations of tagged bass.”

Largemouth bass in the tidally influenced freshwater habitats of the Potomac River will be captured in electrofishing surveys and then measured, weighed, tagged, and released. Anglers who catch a tagged fish can report the tag number, date of capture, size of fish, and catch and release locations. Anglers reporting catching a tagged fish will be entered into an annual lottery for a prize.  They can call 804-367-2925 or email basstag@dwr.virginia.gov to leave information.

  • March 10, 2021