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Do red grouper in the Gulf get tagged occasionally?

I was diving/spear fishing on Monday and swear I saw a yellow "tag" on the back of a red grouper.  It was maybe 18" in size (so I didn't shoot) but just thought it was odd.


Replies

  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 5,981 Admiral
    It is possible but, I don't know of any programs on them, that doesn't mean someone is doing some sort of study.
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  • LilcthefishslayerLilcthefishslayer Posts: 611 Officer
    Yes FWC tags alot of the shorts
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 16,980 AG
    Yes.  As LilC said, the FWC does it.
  • Kokosing LoverKokosing Lover Posts: 774 Officer
    They do it a LOT.  Tags are orange in color, but no doubt look different at depth.
  • grey2112grey2112 Posts: 257 Deckhand

    Yeah, it was in 60 feet of water so definitely could have been orange but washed out a little.  Pretty cool to see, but definitely not 20" so I'm glad I didn't shoot it :)


  • winderbillwinderbill Posts: 302 Deckhand
    edited August 2018 #7
     just curious...I've always wondered how spearfisherman gauge fish length at depth. Do you swim up the fish and put a measuring tape to it?;) ;) When I see fish reports with barely legal keepers it makes me wonder if some shoot first and measure later. I would surmise that most spearfisherman, like most sportsmen of any discipline, are ethical and would only shoot obviously legal fish. But when I see report pics of 24 inch gags with a hole through their heads i always wonder how many 23.5" gag became shark bait after measuring onboard?
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 12,424 AG
    just curious...I've always wondered how spearfisherman gauge fish length at depth. Do you swim up the fish and put a measuring tape to it?;) ;) When I see fish reports with barely legal keepers it makes me wonder if some shoot first and measure later. I would surmise that most spearfisherman, like most sportsmen of any discipline, are ethical and would only shoot obviously legal fish. But when I see report pics of 24 inch gags with a hole through their heads i always wonder how many 23.5" gas became shark bait after measuring onboard?
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  • Cornbread MafiaCornbread Mafia Posts: 15 Greenhorn
    I caught a tagged RG this weekend off of Englewood.  It was only 14" long, and the tag was covered by a significant amount of  growth leading me to believe that it had been in the fish for a while.  One of the guys with us  has several commercial boats and he said the commission goes out on their trips fairly regularly to tag fish.  This out of Marco..
  • Kokosing LoverKokosing Lover Posts: 774 Officer
    I caught a tagged RG this weekend off of Englewood.  It was only 14" long, and the tag was covered by a significant amount of  growth leading me to believe that it had been in the fish for a while.  One of the guys with us  has several commercial boats and he said the commission goes out on their trips fairly regularly to tag fish.  This out of Marco..
    Commercial boats, head boats, charter boats, their own boats; FWC does a lot of tagging out there.  During the summer months, one of those tags can get good algae growth in just a couple of months, but it'll often die and slough off the tag when the water gets colder.  You can scratch the algae off the tag with a thumbnail without damaging the tag.  Next time get a quick picture of the tag number and fish and call the phone number on the tag; every little scrap of recapture data is really useful for research purposes.
  • grey2112grey2112 Posts: 257 Deckhand
     just curious...I've always wondered how spearfisherman gauge fish length at depth. Do you swim up the fish and put a measuring tape to it?;) ;) When I see fish reports with barely legal keepers it makes me wonder if some shoot first and measure later. I would surmise that most spearfisherman, like most sportsmen of any discipline, are ethical and would only shoot obviously legal fish. But when I see report pics of 24 inch gags with a hole through their heads i always wonder how many 23.5" gag became shark bait after measuring onboard?


    It is a learned skill.  I won't lie and say I've never shot a short fish, though it happens a LOT less than it used to when I was starting.  Now I don't pull the trigger unless the fish looks HUGE to me, and with hogfish there are ways of knowing they are male and that almost always means they are legal.  Gags are tough because some of them LOOK big due to their girth, but they aren't long enough.  The really long, thin ones often look too small but they aren't.


    I do wish FWC would give us a LITTLE slack on fish size when spearing - like say 5%, to account for this, or for shrinkage, etc.  Maybe for just one fish in a batch, so that way you don't end up pitching a 23.5" over the side for the sharks.


  • DelboyDelboy Posts: 35 Deckhand
    Considering when diving,  air has an index of refraction of essentially 1 and water has an index of refraction of 1.33 the angle from which the rays of light reach your eyes makes objects look is around 30% larger. A gag grouper has got to look over 32 inches underwater to be legal. Find it hard accept the excuses for shooting short fish, its just greed and gas money that cause short fish being shot.  
  • Kokosing LoverKokosing Lover Posts: 774 Officer
    Delboy said:
    Considering when diving,  air has an index of refraction of essentially 1 and water has an index of refraction of 1.33 the angle from which the rays of light reach your eyes makes objects look is around 30% larger. A gag grouper has got to look over 32 inches underwater to be legal. Find it hard accept the excuses for shooting short fish, its just greed and gas money that cause short fish being shot.  
    I would say it's more likely inexperience.  Except for the few spear fishermen who just don't give a ****, most shorts are shot by people who are still learning the sport.  Takes a while to train your own eye to properly gauge size underwater, and the folks who are still learning haven't gotten the experience to tell that difference yet.  Some of it might be teaching/coaching of techniques as well; more people getting into the sport need to be taught not to take a shot that isn't a high percentage shot and to only take a shot at things that look way over the size limit.  Need to be taught more like deer hunters.
  • AlwaysLearningMoreAlwaysLearningMore Posts: 140 Deckhand
    The tags that I've seen the FWC apply in our area, SW Florida, are yellow in color.  They tend to put them high on the shoulder as in the photo seen here.  Years ago I did a fair amount of fish tagging and we were told that it was better for the fish if the tag were placed further aft, and positioned to lay as flat along the back of the fish as possible.  I suspect the high-shoulder placement is chosen to make the tag more visible to anglers who recapture the fish.


  • grey2112grey2112 Posts: 257 Deckhand

    That's exactly what he looked like.


  • Kokosing LoverKokosing Lover Posts: 774 Officer
    Tag placements depends on the tag performance you're looking for.  If you want the tags to stay in the fish longer term (more than a year) or if you have fish that are likely to try and rub them off, farther forward and deeper is the thing.  More delicate fish (think permit) do better with a tag not punched as deep.
  • AlwaysLearningMoreAlwaysLearningMore Posts: 140 Deckhand
    Tag placements depends on the tag performance you're looking for.  If you want the tags to stay in the fish longer term (more than a year) or if you have fish that are likely to try and rub them off, farther forward and deeper is the thing.  More delicate fish (think permit) do better with a tag not punched as deep.
    That's interesting.  I have not tagged fish in years so the thinking may be different now.  We were using dart tags similar to the one shown in the photo.  We were told to try to get the tag to lie low along the back towards the rear of the dorsal fin, and when inserting the tag to try to push the nylon barb a bit athwartships between the row of vertical bones on the centerline of the fish so it would be nearly impossible for it to back out because the barb would catch one of those bones.  Those two directions work against each other so it took a little practice to get it just like they wanted!!  I tagged quite a few (hundreds) of red grouper and some gags and a few others.  We got numerous recaptures on the red grouper.  We did notice quite a few damaged tags, they'd come up with the ends clipped off.  We even saw a few that were almost, but not quite, clipped off with the end still dangling.  Like you took a side-cutter to it.  I figured that it was triggerfish or puffers nipping at the ends.  We did see a lot more triggerfish in those days.
  • Kokosing LoverKokosing Lover Posts: 774 Officer
    I've seen those clipped ones as well.  I always figured it was fishermen clipping them off so they could call in the tag when they got back home.  Wouldn't put it past triggers and puffers to chew on those things, though.
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 4,283 Captain
    The FWC is always welcome on he Florida. These dedicated biologist record up-to-date data:

    and tag fish:

  • LilcthefishslayerLilcthefishslayer Posts: 611 Officer
     just curious...I've always wondered how spearfisherman gauge fish length at depth. Do you swim up the fish and put a measuring tape to it?;) ;) When I see fish reports with barely legal keepers it makes me wonder if some shoot first and measure later. I would surmise that most spearfisherman, like most sportsmen of any discipline, are ethical and would only shoot obviously legal fish. But when I see report pics of 24 inch gags with a hole through their heads i always wonder how many 23.5" gag became shark bait after measuring onboard?
    You definitely don't want to take shots on anything close. Its a learning curve until you realize how much bigger everything looks underwater. If I ever questioned a fish I wouldn't take a shot. Snapper and sheephead are pretty simple but inshore grouper and cobia, you better know before you let it go.  
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