Jersey Anglers Listen Up: Be Alert for Tagged Black Sea Bass

Rutgers University research project offers rewards for return of tagged fish
seabass tagging

seabass tagging

Fisheries scientists from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, are working with commercial and recreational fishermen to recover tagged black sea bass off the coast of New Jersey. The tagging took place from May through September of last year. The tagging location is off Atlantic City, N.J., but tagged fish may turn up anywhere

The purpose of the project is to determine the timing and mechanism for gender change that a percentage of the black sea bass population undergoes. Most black sea bass first mature as females. Some later become males. The time it takes for a fish to fully transform from a female into a functional male is unknown. Understanding how long it takes for black sea bass to change sex, as well as the ratio of female to male fish, will help scientists and fisheries managers better understand black sea bass reproductive biology and help improve stock assessment of this important species.

If you catch a tagged black sea bass:
-Put whole fish or filleted carcass (with guts intact) with tag in freezer
– Call toll free 1-888-776-6537 or email: and provide the following information:
1) Name, address, phone number, and best location to pick up the fish
2) Date of recapture
3) Location of recapture (latitude/longitude preferred)


Rewards range from a hat (orange tag); $100 for a red tag; and with a tag and the fish, the reward and a chance to win $1,000.

If you don’t have the carcass, you can still call and report:

Don’t have the fish? You can still help! In addition to the above information:
– Please tell us total length of fish (tip of head to end of tail, excluding the filament)
– tag number
– Disposition and fate (whether the fish was kept or released)