To give anglers an incentive for reporting tagged fish, DNR officials offer a reward for each report.
Each angler who reports a tagged fish from the Ohio River will receive a set of catfish hooks and a set of lures. For fish caught in state park lakes and ponds, Parks Section officials are offering a choice: a ticket to ride the Cass Scenic Railroad, a sternwheeler ride at Blennerhassett Island, or an activity pass to Pipestem State Park.
Researchers want the most consistent information they can get, so they're urging anglers to continue to fish for catfish where they usually do.
They also want anglers to carefully inspect the fish for tags. Although the plastic tags are brightly colored when they're first attached to the fish, algae growth often turns them brown or black. Because they're small and flexible, they can literally blend into the dark colors of a catfish's back.
Anglers can report a tag number in one of two ways: They can clip the tag off the fish and mail it to the DNR or they can write down the number and mail, e-mail or telephone it in.
The number is located on the end of the tag closest to the fish. Each tag also displays the address of the DNR's Parkersburg office.
Along with the tag number, anglers should also provide the day, month and year of capture; the body of water and location where the fish was caught; whether the fish was kept or released; and a return address where the reward can be mailed.
Mailed reports should be addressed to the WV Division of Natural Resources, 2311 Ohio Ave., Parkersburg WV 26101. E-mailed reports should be made to dnrfisht...@wv.gov. For phone reports, anglers should call 304-420-4550.