Evaluation of Carlin Dangler Tags in Hatchery-reared Channel Catfish

Long-term tagging studies require a tag that has high retention and does not cause significant mortality. Retention and induced mortality were determined for advanced fingerling channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) tagged with Carlin dangler tags. We stocked three replicate 0.10-ha ponds with 100 tagged and 150 untagged channel catfish. Mean length ± SD of fish stocked was 232 ± 20 mm (range: 179-282 mm). Mean annual tag loss was 10% and ranged from 4% to 19% among ponds. Annual survival was 9% lower for tagged (mean = 52%) than unmarked control fish (mean = 61%). Annual growth of tagged fish was 58 mm and 376 g less than that of unmarked fish. Overall, results of this study indicated that long-term tag loss of Carlin dangler tags was acceptable for most applications (i.e., 10% per year), but investigators should be aware that tagged advanced fingerling fish, with an associated adipose fin clip, may have reduced survival and growth.

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