A fish tracking program run by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and Windsor University is seeking help from the public in retrieving fish tags that have fallen off. The orange cylindrical tags are attached to salmon and trout in Lake Ontario for the purpose of collecting information about movement and behaviour.
“The information is being used to support put-grow-take recreational fisheries (Chinook salmon, brown trout), the naturalized rainbow trout fishery, and native species restoration (lake trout, Atlantic salmon),” said Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program Coordinator Chris Robinson.
“Scientists will have more information on diet, growth rate, habitat needs … this can then be used if decisions need to be made about the predator-prey balance in the lake…or how to improve native species restoration efforts.”
Twenty-two tags affixed in 2014 were programmed to release in June 2015. One tag has been recovered on the shore of Lake Ontario in Prince Edward County. Robinson points out that the 21 remaining tags are expected to appear on Lake Ontario shores and they are asking anglers and beach combers to keep an eye out for the orange cylinders. The reward for a returned tag is $100.
To return a tag, contact Dr. Aaron Fisk at the University of Windsor (email@example.com) for information about the return process.
Ninety Chinook salmon, lake trout, and Atlantic salmon will be tagged this year, and those tags will be programmed to release in 2016.