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The following schedule is subject to change (as of October 11, 2016). Please check back for updates. For more information about this meeting, go to: www.seafwa.org/conferences/2016
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Tuesday, October 18 • 1:00pm - 1:20pm
Education/Outreach. Engaging citizen scientists through fish tagging in Louisiana

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AUTHORS: Craig Gothreaux, Heather David, Ashley Ferguson - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

ABSTRACT: Angler-based tagging programs provide an opportunity for the public to engage in science and contribute to fisheries research, management, and conservation. The Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program is a collaborative effort that allows citizen scientist to join forces with fishery biologists to tag and release fish, collect ancillary data over a wide geographic and temporal range, and report recaptures of these tagged fish. The program originated in 1988 with a focus on red drum, but has grown substantially in recent years with the involvement of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Extension/Outreach section. There are over 700 volunteer anglers actively participating, with an average of over 30,000 fish being tagged annually. There is also a group of elite taggers (that tag well over 100 fish per year) which are currently involved in a field study to evaluate different tag types. Furthermore, these citizen scientists also assist with fish collection for the Lake Pontchartrain acoustic telemetry project that involves surgical implantation of transmitters by biologists. As a way to share the information collected from the various tagging programs, websites have been created to allow the public to interface with the conventional tagging program (www.taglouisiana.com) and to visualize the movements of the acoustically tagged fish (louisianafisheries.net/telemetry/). These efforts have combined to successfully engage recreational anglers through outreach and foster the enthusiasm of citizen scientists eager to join forces with fisheries biologists towards an overarching goal of responsible resource management and conservation.

Tuesday October 18, 2016 1:00pm - 1:20pm