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Program Design
The Virginia Game Fish Tagging Program (VGFTP), a cooperative project of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), set records for fish tagged and recaptured during 1999, its fifth year of operation. The VGFTP is primarily funded with revenues from Virginia's saltwater recreational fishing license. In addition, support for the program is provided by the Virginia Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program at VIMS.

Program Goals
The VGFTP is designed to accomplish three specific goals:

  • To develop a quality oriented tagging program utilizing recreational anglers to enhance data collection efforts fro specific species of fish;

  • To educate anglers about the need, benefits, limitations, and operation of tagging programs and other information gathering efforts directed toward saltwater fin fish, including the proper methods for reporting the recapture of tagged fish; and,

  • To reinforce efforts to educate anglers about the benefits and proper techniques for catching, handling, releasing, and tagging fish.

Program Operations
Registration is annual, beginning in January. Participation is limited to 160 anglers, and anglers are requested to renew their registration each year. Training workshops are held in February an07-Dec-2012 Gloucester Point, and anglers are required to07-Dec-2012portunity to interact with all program participants to help assure the quality of their tagging efforts. The sessions teach proper fish handling techniques, tagging techniques, procedures for the accurate and efficient reporting of tag events, and the goals and philosophy of the VGFTP. Anglers also practiced inserting tags in fish from local seafood markets to clarify questions about proper tagging technique, reinforce proper fish handling, and allow anglers to become familiar with the tagging process while under supervision. Mistakes during practice provide an excellent learning situation through which anglers immediately benefit from their mistakes and gain confidence in their skills.

Updated Target Species Poster

Where to Look for Tags on Target Fish

2008 Tagging Report

2007 Tagging Report

2006 Tagging Report

2005 Tagging Report


Virginia Sea Grant • Virginia Institute of Marine Science
P.O. Box 1346 • Gloucester Point, VA 23062 • 804-684-7164 • 804-684-7161 (fax)