Tagged bass can yield cash rewards for anglers

WEST PLAINS, Mo – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is tagging 1,600 legal-sized smallmouth bass on five rivers in southern Missouri as part of a research project. Anglers who catch tagged bass can earn $25 or $75 by reporting their catches to MDC researchers.

MDC biologists are tagging smallmouth bass in the Black River, Castor River, Courtois Creek, Current River and the North Fork of the White River, and will continue tagging during the spring season over the next two years.

According to Fisheries Management Biologist John Ackerson, these types of research studies have been successful with other fish species such as catfish and walleye.

“The research project will help biologists learn more about angler catch rates and fish movement in these rivers,” Ackerson said. “Information gained from anglers reporting their tagged catches will help us manage this species, which many Missourians love to fish.”

He explained that tagged bass do not have to be kept to receive a reward. Anglers may just remove the tag and release the fish. Tags must be returned to the MDC to receive a reward.

To report tagged catches, anglers must call the phone number listed on the tag and provide the following information:

• Tag number

• If the fish was kept or released

• Date of catch

• Total length of fish

• Approximate location of catch

For more information on the research project, contact Ackerson at 417-255-9561, extension 275, or John.Ackerson@mdc.mo.gov.