The deadline to turn in trout tags is approaching – so anglers fishing the 15-mile stretch of the Toccoa River (between Blue Ridge Dam and the Tennessee state line) should get busy and make sure all tags removed from tagged trout are sent in by April 9, 2010. Why? Because thanks to the Blue Ridge Mountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited, one lucky person will win a lifetime license at the drawing to be held on Sat. April 10!
The Fisheries Section of the Division tagged almost 4,000 trout, including hatchery-raised rainbow, captured resident rainbow and even a few brown trout, in the Toccoa River (effort began in March 2009) as part of a study of trout population dynamics. By reporting these tags, anglers will help biologists learn more about survival, growth and movement of stocked trout in the Toccoa River.
These small, green tags, each with a unique number, were attached to the fish just below the dorsal fin. Each tag reported and returned will be eligible for a drawing to win a lifetime sportsman’s license. One angler will be chosen at random on April 10, 2010 (entries must be received by close of business April 9, 2010). Anglers may report and return multiple tags, increasing their odds of winning.
What anglers should do if they catch a tagged trout while fishing the Toccoa River:
- Remove the tag by cutting it with a knife, scissors, nippers, etc. as close as possible to the fish's body (if you plan to release the fish do not pull the tag out, as this is likely to injure the fish).
- Keep or release the fish as normal in accordance with the 2010 Georgia Sport Fishing Regulations.
- Call the Calhoun Fisheries office at (706) 624-1161 to report the tag number.
- Mail the tag to the specified address. (Only tags physically received by the office will be eligible for the drawing for the lifetime sportsman’s license.)
If the winner of the drawing is not eligible for a lifetime license (i.e. not a Georgia resident or otherwise not eligible), they will be allowed to give the license to someone else that is eligible (family member, friend or other drawing entry).
Anglers who catch a tagged trout after the drawing deadline are encouraged to continue to report these tags, as the data will still be useful in the study.
For additional information regarding the Toccoa River trout study, contact Fisheries Biologist John Damer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (706) 624-1161.
Editor’s Note: A photo of a tagged trout is available. Contact Melissa Cummings at 770-918-6795 or at Melissa.email@example.com .