DNR to tag 3,000 walleye in Saginaw Bay waters.

DNR asks anglers to be on the lookout for tagged walleye

To improve its knowledge of walleye populations in Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay, the Department of Natural Resources’ Fisheries Division is set to tag nearly 3,000 walleye in Saginaw Bay tributary rivers over the next two weeks. A total of 1,000 walleye will be tagged in the Tittabawassee River and the remaining 2,000 in other tributary streams. To get the most information from these efforts, anglers are asked to collect data on tagged fish they catch and report it to the DNR.

Collected information can be mailed to the postal address stamped on the tag or reported on the DNR website at: www.michigandnr.com/taggedfish.

Since 1981, more than 100,000 walleye in the Saginaw Bay area have been tagged. Jaw-tagging is part of an assessment project to monitor survival and exploitation rates of this key walleye population. The program depends on anglers to report when and where a tagged walleye is caught as well as the fish’s length, weight (if known) and tag identification number. Both released and harvested walleye can be reported. Anglers then will receive a letter from the DNR, detailing the background of their fish.

“Survival rate is the rate at which walleye are surviving from one year to the next and exploitation rate is the percentage of walleye being harvested from the population,” Dave Fielder, DNR fish biologist, said. “These two measurements are essential for gauging the health of the population and fishery.”

The annual tagging operation is spearheaded by the DNR’s Southern Lake Huron Management Unit. Electrofishing boats are used to temporarily stun the fish so they can be netted and measured and a small metal tag can be affixed to the jaw of each fish.

Learn more about marked and tagged fish at www.michigan.gov/taggedfish.