SALTONSTALL KENNEDY GRANT PROGRAM
A Cooperative Interstate Study to Evaluate....
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GRANT NUMBER:  NA77FD0062         NMFS NUMBER:   96-SER-005

REPORT TITLE:  A Cooperative Interstate Study to Evaluate Non-Reporting Rate of Recreational Anglers Who Capture Tagged Red Drum

AUTHOR:  Smith, Theodore I. J., and Woodward, Arnold G.

PUBLISH DATE: March 8, 1999

AVAILABLE FROM:  National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Region, 9721 Executive Center Drive N., State/Federal Liaison Office, St. Petersburg, FL 33702.  TELEPHONE:  (727) 570-5324

ABSTRACT

Hatchery produced red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), from wild adults were grown to legal size (>14" TL) and used to evaluate angler non-reporting of tagged red drum in South Carolina (SC) and Georgia (GA).  A total of 1,800 fish were divided into 12 groups of 150 fish; each group contained 75" Reward" tags and 75 "$100 Reward" tags.  Fish were stocked at 3 sites within each of 2 estuaries in each state (n=4estuaries, 12 stocking sites). Based on the assumption that the $100 tag reward level reflected a reporting level of 100%, the tag return level for "Reward" tags was subtracted from the theoretical 100% level to estimate the non-reporting level for each site.  Overall reporting level for tagged fish (reward and $100 reward tags combined) in SC was 22.7 + 6.4%, which was not significantly different from that reported in GA 25.8 + 14.1%.  When all data were pooled by reward message, and no data adjustments were made for potential biases, SC had a non-reporting level of 22.1% and GA had a non-reporting level of 25.0%. When the data were partitioned and adjusted for potential biases using ancillary verbal survey information, 14.3 + 5.2% of the reward tags were reported in SC as compared to 25.5 + 5.6% for the $100 Reward tags yielding a non reporting level of 41%. A similar pattern was also observed in GA where significantly fewer Reward tags (19.1 + 10.6%) were reported compared to $100 Reward tags (30.1 + 15.6%). This resulted in a non-reporting level of 37% in GA.  Non-reporting levels between sites were highly variable and ranged from 18-81% among all sites.   Based on the study data, the currently used non-reporting level of 50% appears to be an over-estimation of the current level of non-reporting. It is believed that non-reporting levels of 41% in SC and 37% in GA more accurately reflect present non-reporting levels.

 
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