By Hunter Hatcher, DWR Aquatic Biologist
Photos by Hunter Hatcher
Biologists with the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) and researchers from Coastal Carolina University are requesting the help of anglers in reporting tagged muskellunge fish in the upper James River. The musky have been implanted with tags to investigate the impacts of catch-and-release on fish mortality during the summer months.
Anglers who capture a tagged fish can report the tag to Cory Bauerlien of Coastal Carolina University via phone or text at 443-974-6171 within 24 hours in exchange for a $50 reward. For more information, see https://muskymortality.weebly.com/.
To claim the full reward, anglers will need the fish’s tag number, a photo of the fish with tag visible, and the date, time, and location of their catch. It is imperative that anglers do not remove tags from fish.
Understanding the impact of catch-and-release mortality on musky will allow DWR biologists to better manage this unique fishery moving forward.