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wil wegman

Update on Lake Simcoe Bass Tagging Research Work

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I’d like to thank all those who helped out with the Lake Simcoe Bass Tagging Research Project during the Bassmaster Eastern Divisionals in Orillia July 22, 23 and 24th 2009. This is part of a multi year MNR Community Fisheries and Wildlife Involvement Program hosted by the Aurora Bassmasters and the Ontario BASS Federation Nation. The goal is to track the movements of tagged bass that are sampled at tournaments to give us all a better understanding of bass movments throughout Simcoe and Cooch. During fall events, when some bass need to be fizzed (a process whereby a hypodermic needle is carefully inserted into a certain spot on the side of the bass - to relieve air pressure from the air bladder so the fish can swim back down) we utilize the expertise of the lab from Dr Bruce Tufts at Queens University. Todate several of the previoously fizzed tagged bass have been recaptured by anglers.

 

It was a very busy 3 days at the sampling stations and we put thru 380 smallmouth and largemouth bass. Over the last three years we have been able to tag 484 bass so now we have well over 800. We received two recaps – bass that were previously sampled and tagged at other tournaments. Here are the details on those two fish:

 

 

1) Caught by renowned Federation Nation angler and former FNC Champion and Bassmaster Classic qualifier … Ed Cowan of New York on July 23. When Ed caught it, the fish measured 49.5 cm yet when it was originally caught and sampled during the Barrie Bassmaster Open Tournament in Kempenfelt Bay in 2007 it measured 49.4 cm. Not much growth – but still a healthy fish that was released in good shape. We aged the bass in 2007 at 10 years old – so it’s 12 now. Ed weighed it in @ 2.0 kg or 4.42 lbs and originally – in late Oct 07 (when these bass are at their fattest) – it weighed an even 5 lbs. Ed’s fish was not previously fizzed.

 

2) Caught by renowned Canadian Angler Rob Hyatt of North Bay on July 24. When Rob caught it, it weighed 6.61 lbs on our hand scales and when it was originally caught and sampled (2008 BPS Open out of Sibbald’s) it weighed 5.51lbs. It measured 49.8 cm last year in Oct and 8 months later it measured 50.5cm. It was one big fat smallie and grew quickly. It was aged at 11 years old last fall. Rob’s fish was previously fizzed. Unfortunately Rob’s fish was also one of the few that did not make it and I received the tags back from the Live Release boat.

 

 

By this time last year, we already had 13 recaps reported – and so far in 2009, we have just these two. I am asking all members of this board to please spread the word about this tagging project to make sure all anglers fishing either Simcoe or Couchiching are on the look out for tags. They will likely be covered in algae – which is perfectly normal – so the angler will need to scrape away the algae with a pen knife to read the phone number and tag number. Look for most bass to be double tagged – between the two dorsal fins (the big ones at top of fish). Please make sure anglers write down the tag numbers, the phone #, take a quick measurement if convenient, and then call in the details along with a brief description of where it was caught and released (eg northeast side of Lake Simcoe). Reporting tagged fish is vital to the success of these programs and we count on the angling public to help make them successful.

 

For more information about the award winning tagging project- please refer to the www.aurorabass.com site or www.ontariobass.com.

 

Thanks very much everyone and tight lines

 

Wil Wegman

Ontario BASS Federation Nation Conservation and Media Director

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good info and I will look for tags on them

 

always great when you get on this website

hope you show up here more often

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Wil,

Should the measurement be taken with the tail pinched or open?Just curious if I catch one.

Kerry

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I think I caught one the other day with a missing spine on dorsal but tag was missing although there was a bump on the skin where it looked like it used to be.

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