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The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is reminding Trinity River anglers to return Coho salmon, Chinook salmon and steelhead tags in a timely manner.
Tag return information is used each year to calculate harvest and help biologists estimate population size of steelhead and salmon runs. This information feeds into the Klamath basin fall Chinook salmon run-size estimate and informs the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s creation of regulations and quota sizes for the Klamath fishery. The data also allows CDFW to determine if progress is being made toward the goals of the Trinity River Restoration Program. CDFW will no longer be paying rewards for Trinity River tags returned from previous seasons, according to CDFW Trinity River Project Environmental Scientist Mary Claire Kier.
“We rely on anglers returning reward tags to us in the same season that the fish are caught so we can use the information in the season-setting process,” Kier said. “Timely return of reward tags is very important to secure an accurate estimate of the annual harvest. Only tags returned to CDFW in the same season they are obtained can be used in the harvest estimates, yet we often have tags returned to us as many as 10 years late. Unfortunately that catch information has no value to us at that point.”
As a reminder, anglers must immediately release all Coho salmon and wild steelhead (those with an intact adipose fin). Tags may be removed from these species, but the fish must remain in the water during tag removal. Please use scissors or a sharp knife to remove the tag.
Please return all Trinity River fish tags to:
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
5341 Ericson Way
Arcata, CA 95521
Anglers can obtain a form to accompany the tags at www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/inland/fish-tags or send the tags with:
Angler’s name and address
Date and location fish was caught
Whether the fish was kept or released
Anglers should also cut the knot off tags before sending to ensure they will clear the United States Postal Service sorting machine.