1000 Taggers and Counting

Local recreational fishers continue to contribute to research on key species through their tagging efforts. The Westag program was launched in 1998-99 and still oversees tagging efforts in WA waters.

This long-running citizen science program aims to improve the understanding of recreational fishing species, improve management of recreational fisheries and help ensure recreational fishing in WA remains healthy.

Since being launched over 1000 taggers have participated in Westag, including 42 in 2014-15.

There have been more than 36,000 fish tagged and over 1300 recaptures in that time.

Key species tagged have been Samson Fish, Barramundi, Mangrove Jack, Dhufish and Sailfish.

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BLittle Sail Tag Broome_FC

This year there has been a surge in Mulloway tagging, with a national initiative called the Mulloway Marathon encouraging recreational fishers to tag more of this species.

There have been more than 2000 Dhufish tagged, with a good recapture rate of almost 10 per cent.

Drew tagging resized

Fishers tag fish and record key information such as length, location and condition of the fish, which offers important data when the fish is recaptured.

There have been some fascinating recaptures stories, including two Dhufish tagged consecutively by the same charter operator being caught again on the same day and the 1000km travelled Samson Fish.

If you’d like to get involved with tagging, visit http://info-fish.net/westag/ for more information.