More PAT Tagging Reports
Got an e-mail last week form Dr. Ault. Here is it with the attachement.
The PAT tag for tarpon 33 (tagged at 125 lbs) popped off on the 28th of August off the coast of Louisiana (near Grand Isle) during hurricane Katrina. The tag was scheduled to pop-off on 30 September, but most likely, hurricane Katrina contributed in some way to the early pop-off.
That fish was tagged on May 28, 2005, and the tarpon had migrated well-over 1200 miles from the point of tagging! This clearly confirms the international range of these important sportfish, and emphasizes the important relationships between the waters of Mexico, Texas, Louisiana (and presumably Florida) for this valuable regional fishery resource. It also emphasizes the need for us to get moving on PAT tagging in Texas, and again in LA, once the storm situation stabilizes.
Other related good news to this exciting story is that we are still receiving very good location data from the tag via satellite. (We have power in the tag despite the fact that lower LA and MS do not!). This particular tag was one of the new generation tags where many of the old power and transmission problems have been resolved.
So far this year, of the six tarpon we caught, fitted and released with satellite PAT tags in May 2005 off Veracruz, Mexico, we have physically "heard" from 3 tarpon via satellite and have confirmed their pop-off locations (see attached map). Tarpon 22 (July 9) weighed 135 pounds, and tarpon 28 (July 7) weighed 191 pounds. It may be that we will still receive further information on these tags if they are found on the beaches near where they popped-off. Remember that last year two of these tags were found by others and returned to us. We are hopeful the same may occur again this year!
Unfortunately, we never received any transmissions from two other tags which were expected to pop-off during the summer (tarpon 21 162 lbs , tarpon 23 188 lbs). It may been that these tags were the "old"
technology, but our success rate in these endeavors is surely high given the innovations in the tagging process we have developed.
We have one more tarpon scheduled to have its PAT tag pop-off on September 15th, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed and let you know of the progress.
Jerald S. Ault, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Marine Biology and Fisheries Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric