A Cooperative Interstate Study to Evaluate Non-Reporting
Rate of Recreational Anglers Who Capture Tagged Red Drum
Smith, Theodore I.J., and Woodward, Arnold G.
National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Region, 9721
Executive Center Drive, North, St. Petersburg, FL 33702.
PHONE: (813) 570-5324
levels of tagged red drum, (Sciaenops ocellantus)
captured by recreational anglers in two estuaries, one
in Georgia and one in South Carolina, were evaluated using
two tag reward messages: Reward and $100 Reward.
The Reward inscribed message is the standard message used
in fishery dependent tagging programs in the southeast,
U.S. Equal numbers of legal size fish (356 mm TL)
were tagged with either reward message and released into
ten locations in SC and GA. A total of 1,500 fish
have been stocked to date. Data from the three stockings
within the Charleston Harbor estuary, SC and from the
three stockings in St. Simons Sound, GA have been analyzed.
The data from the final releases will be available in
1998. The main assumption was that a $100 Reward would
be adequate incentive to assure 100% reporting of captured
tagged fish and that the difference between "$100
Reward" and "Reward" tags would yield the
non-reporting level. Overall return level to date
for all tagged fish in South Carolina was 24.4+1.4%, significantly
higher than that reported in Georgia 16.5+1.5%.
Using all data no significant differences were detected
between Reward tags (22.7+0.8%) and $100 Reward tags (26.2+2.5%)
in SC. In GA, 18.7+2.3% of $100 reward tags were
reported, which was not significantly different from Reward
tags (14.4+1.0%). Non-reporting estimates ranged from
0-44% which are lower than the 50% value commonly used
by managers. However, analysis of this first data set
suggests that the non-reporting level is not statistically
identifiable. Inclusion of reporting data from the final
stockings (2 estuaries with 3 stockings/estuary) will
allow a more robust interpretation of the non-reporting
levels for anglers who captured tagged red drum in SC