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Tagged Lake Oahe Salmon: From Silver to Gold





PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) wants to know how stocking salmon in different locations improves their survival. Anglers can help GFP gather information and be entered to win $100.

GFP is encouraging anglers to turn in heads of tagged Chinook salmon caught on Lake Oahe and the Oahe tail waters.

“Research projects are underway evaluating salmon return to anglers,” said GFP fisheries biologist Robert Hanten. “Having anglers report tagged salmon is a crucial part of the research.”

According to Hanten, thousands of specially-tagged Chinook salmon have been stocked in Lake Oahe. A small, coded-wire tag, only a millimeter long and the diameter of human hair, was implanted in these fish. Although tags cannot be seen by anglers, tagged fish can be identified by the absence of a tiny fin on their back.

"Salmon have a small fleshy-lobed adipose fin directly in front of their tail, but this fin is removed as part of the tagging process," Hanten said.

If anglers catch a salmon missing the adipose fin, Hanten asks that they turn in the fresh or frozen head of that salmon at the GFP Fort Pierre District Office, Oahe Marina, Spring Creek Resort or West Whitlock Recreation Area.

Information on where and when a salmon was caught along with the angler’s address and phone number must be included when submitting salmon heads. In addition, a coded-wire tag must be found in the head of the fish to be entered in the cash drawing.

“Even though every salmon missing an adipose fin was implanted with a coded-wire tag, some fish lose their tags during hatchery rearing, meaning not all fish without the fin will contain a tag,” explained Hanten.

Ten, $100 rewards will be issued each calendar year with a maximum of three rewards per person, per year. The annual drawing for winners of the $100 prizes will occur by Jan. 1.

For more information, visit: gfp.sd.gov/fishing-boating/salmon-tags.aspx
Fort Pierre District Office, 20641 SD Hwy 1806, Fort Pierre, SD 57532 or call 605.223.7681.

-GFP-

GFP Mission: The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks provides sustainable outdoor recreational opportunities through responsible management of our state’s parks, fisheries and wildlife by fostering partnerships, cultivating stewardship and safely connecting people with the outdoors.