A tagged blue catfish caught in July 2023 for the Satilla tagging study. Reporting information
about tags and tagged fish can help biologists learn more about the impacts these predators
could be having on the river’s ecosystem. (courtesy of Georgia DNR)
Reap Rewards for Returning Blue Cat Tags
Source: Georgia Department of Natural Resources
New tagging study targets blue catfish in Georgia’s Satilla River
Blue cats aren’t native to this waterway and were discovered there just a few years ago. Fisheries managers hope to use this study to learn more about them and better assess their impact.
“As a large non-native species in the Satilla River, blue catfish have the potential to negatively impact many of the existing native species in the river, including the prized redbreast sunfish,” said Senior Fisheries Biologist Jim Page. “These tagging efforts will provide fishery managers with important data to better understand movement of the fish in the river and yield some information on fishing mortality for the species. In exchange for reporting tag information, anglers will be rewarded, so get out there and fish so you can have a chance to get some free swag.”
How do you know if you caught a tagged catfish? There will be an orange dart tag affixed to the fish. This tag has a unique number and a mailing address to return the tag.
How do you report a tagged catfish catch? First, make sure to keep the fish and remove the tag. Tags may be mailed (address listed on the tag) or reported via phone (912-285-6485). You will need to provide the following information (whether mailing the tag or reporting by phone): total length (in inches), weight (in pounds), your contact info (name, address, phone #) and information on the catch (e.g., GPS coordinates; nearby landmarks). Anglers who successfully report tag information will receive a custom hat and information about the tagged fish.
For more information on the Satilla blue catfish tagging study, call the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division Fisheries Management Office (Waycross, GA) at 912-285-6485.