SC Marine Game Fish Tagging Program
FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions
- Is there a law regarding fish tagging in South Carolina?
- Why do I have to purchase a tag gun instead of SCDNR providing one for free?
- Can I buy my tagging gun from SCDNR?
- Do I need to purchase needles with my tagging gun?
- Why has the tagging program started using tagging guns instead of the tag sticks that were used in the past?
- What size fish can be tagged using the T-bar anchor tags?
- I only catch and release fish that fit the criteria for the larger nylon dart tags. Can you supply me with just these tags?
- What is the minimum size for tagging any species?
- Does my datasheet need to be completely full before I submit it? What is the best way for me to report my recorded data?
- What are the criteria for listing a fish as a target species?
- Should I tag any species other than those listed on the target species list?
- If I catch a tagged fish should I release it with the tag intact?
- Does the tagging program accept donations?
Yes. SC Code of Laws Section 50-5-40 states: “No person may tag or mark and release saltwater fish or promote such activity unless authorized by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.”
The tagging program operates on a very limited budget and we simply cannot afford to supply all the anglers who wish to participate with a tagging gun that costs $20-$30. Historically, one of the biggest cost issues the program has faced is providing tagging equipment, free of charge that never gets used. We feel that if an angler has a personal investment in the program, there is more of an incentive to actually use the equipment (tags) we supply for free.
Not at this time. Anything SCDNR sells (licenses, retail items etc.) requires approval from the State Legislature.
Make sure the tagging gun you purchase comes with a needle. We can supply you with replacement needles free of charge.
Because the tagging gun uses a small needle to actually insert the tag, it is less likely to compromise the health of the fish. In other words, it’s a more “fish friendly” means of tagging. Another benefit to using the tag gun is that they can be loaded with a strip of tags, and thus are a more efficient means for tagging fish, especially in situations where you are catching fish one right after another.
Different target species have different tag type requirements. For a complete list of tag type and fish size criteria, please refer to the target species list.
Nylon dart tags and the accompanying applicator are only supplied to anglers who have demonstrated active participation in the program through tagging and reporting a minimum of 25 T-bar tags.
Ten (10) inches.
No, the datasheet does not have to be full. Please submit your data in a timely manner. The best way to submit your data is by emailing a scanned copy or photo of the sheet to the program coordinator at CozJ@dnr.sc.gov. However, if you do not have access to email, the program will supply you with postage paid envelopes.
The primary criteria are the importance of a particular species both commercially and recreationally to the State and South Atlantic region. The list of target species is further narrowed down based on the amount of historical data on that species.
No. Target species are those for which data are still needed. Data on species not listed as targets are not needed because there are plenty of data already available on these fish. Tagging non-target fish is essentially a waste of tags.
Yes. After recording the tag number, location, and type of fish that was caught, release the fish with the tag intact. Then contact the tagging program to report your recapture. Information on the fish will be sent to you along with a tagging program hat, t-shirt or other gift.
Yes. Limited funding for this program is provided through the purchase of saltwater fishing licenses and donations are accepted to help mitigate the costs of tagging kits that are provided to participating anglers free of charge. Many sportfishing clubs and individuals help support this program with their donations and help ensure the continuation of this conservation effort.