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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Tools of the Trade -- Automated Fish Tagging System

Oswego NY Net Pens

    Excellent Lake Ontario Fishing provides fantastic fun filled opportunity for thousands of piscatorial enthusiasts. Lake Ontario Fishing is recognized for its world class status but the fishery just didn't happen by chance. It happened because of a commitment by the NYS Bureau of Fisheries to create, institute, manage, and continually adjust policies to provide quality fishing prospects. You can learn more about the program by reading an article I wrote

several years ago that chronicles the history of the fishery. click here to read the article titled "Good Science or Good Luck, the Great Lake Ontario Fishery".

    Recently the Bureau of Fisheries purchased a state of the art mobile fish tagging system that is going to provide needed data that takes the guess work out of the fish population make up as it exists now and into the future. Today, if you ask how many wild fish are in the population mix, no one knows. If you ask how many of the Salmon River stocked fish show up in other areas, no one knows. In a couple of years we will know the answers to these questions, and with a very high degree of accuracy. The higher the degree of accuracy used in scientific modeling the more dependable the data and consequently the resulting decisions. In essence this addition to the biologists arsenal is going to result in a better fishing future for the big lake. For more details on the system visit AutoFish System and see it in action here AutoFish Videos.

Automated Fish Marking System

    This amazing system can automatically fin clip and/or install coded wire nose tags at an incredible rate of nearly 60,000 fish in an 8 hour period and required manpower is minimal. The system was used this past year (2008) to clip the adipose fin of all stocked chinooks.In addition all kings stocked in the Salmon River received a coded wire tag in their snout. In a few years we will be able to determine the wild to stocked fish population ratio. By the way, the system

was used to mark Canadian stocked kings as well, meaning that the entire lake has been covered. Empirical scientific data is on its way.
    The art of managing a fishery in an ecosystem as large as Lake Ontario is a daunting task as every decision is possibly effected by nature. Technically, a system based upon wild fish only is subject to boom or bust scenarios depending on the whims of Mother Nature. A system that combines stocking populations with wild fish contributions has a chance of providing better results on a long term basis and the more tools you have to assist in decision making the better the chances of success.
    When a fishing rod starts pounding with the surging run of a powerful Chinook we are happy campers. Today, we should be smiling broadly in anticipation of good things to come as a result of the purchase of the tagging trailer. If you are ever near the trailer you might want to give it a friendly tap or two to let it know how much you appreciate its efforts. I Love New York---Fishing!!!!!

Posted By: Capn Gerry Bresadola @ 2:23:37 PM


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