Anglers Asked for Info on Winnipesaukee Tagged Bass

Study examines bass movement after release from bass tournament weigh-ins

Anglers fishing Lake Winnipesaukee are asked to keep an eye out for and report if they see largemouth and smallmouth bass that were tagged as part of a New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Warmwater Fisheries Management Program study. Data collected from tagged bass will allow biologists to examine bass movement after release from bass tournament weigh-ins held on Lake Winnipesaukee.

The study was undertaken beginning in 2007 as a result of bass tournament data analysis and angler concerns. From 2001-2005, nearly half of permitted bass tournaments on Lake Winnipesaukee (170 tournaments) launched from the Ames Farm Inn.  As a result, during this time, 64% of all smallmouth and largemouth bass weighed in during permitted bass tournaments on Lake Winnipesaukee were weighed and released at or near the Ames Farm launch.  Scientific studies have shown that bass may remain in the general vicinity of weigh-in sites for days, weeks or even months after release. 

"A stockpiling of bass at weigh-in sites could then lead to increased angler harvest and catch rates from non-tournament anglers, increased competition for food and habitat, and increased opportunities for bacterial or viral transmissions such as Largemouth Bass Virus," says Gabe Gries, Warmwater Fisheries Project Leader for N.H. Fish and Game.

Tagged bass
Look carefully for a 2-inch yellow tag on bass caught in Lake Winnipesaukee; a Fish and Game study is tracking these fish.

What do the tags look like? Individually numbered yellow tags are attached near the base of the bass' dorsal fin (that is, the fin along the top of the back; see photo at right).  Tags look like a 2-inch piece of spaghetti and may be covered with algae, so look carefully.  DO NOT remove the tag from bass that are to be released. 

The tags are printed with instructions requesting anglers to contact the N.H. Fish and Game Department with the following details (click here to download a print-and-mail data reporting sheet, or call Gabe Gries at 603-352-9669 to request by mail):

  • Tag Number;
  • Location of Catch (GPS/general location) and release location (if fish was released);
  • Date bass was caught;
  • Whether bass was kept or released; and
  • Angler contact information (name, phone number).

"Angler captures of tagged bass will be the major source of information for this study, so please ask ALL anglers you know to be on the lookout for tagged bass when they fish Lake Winnipesaukee and send Fish and Game the requested information when they do catch a tagged bass," says Gries.

For more information on the study and to report information from tagged bass, contact Gabe Gries, N.H. Fish and Game Region 4, 15 Ash Brook Court, Keene, NH 03431; phone 603-352-9669; or email gabe.gries@wildlife.nh.gov.


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