MANHATTAN – If you catch a blue catfish from Tuttle Creek Reservoir this summer, be sure to check for a little yellow tag just below its dorsal spine. A blue catfish tagging project is underway to help biologists learn more about blue cats in Tuttle Creek. Biologists are collecting blue cats with an electrofishing boat, weighing and measuring all of them. Any blue catfish longer than 14 inches will receive a yellow tag with a unique number so it can be identified.
The blue catfish population at Tuttle Creek Reservoir is still fairly young. Most of the fish being tagged measure between 16 and 22 inches. The largest fish tagged so far was 27 inches long and weighed 8.3 pounds.
The yellow tags have information printed on both sides. On one side of the tag will be the tag number and a phone number. The other side of the tag will have an email address. Anglers who catch tagged blue catfish are asked to report them using either the phone number or email address, or in person at the Tuttle Creek State Park Office. Biologists want to know the tag number, the general location where the fish was caught, the length of the fish, and if it was harvested or released.
As tagged fish are recaptured over time, biologists will be able to determine how well the fish are growing. The tagging study will also provide a better understanding of how far fish are swimming upstream of the lake and how many fish are migrating downstream out of the lake.
Fisheries staff want to thank anglers in advance for taking the time to share tag information. With help from anglers, biologists will continue to enhance fishing opportunities at Tuttle Creek Reservoir.