Flathead tagging champ cracks 100 trophies!

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WELL-known Lake Macquarie angler Steve Norris has achieved the remarkable feat of being the first person to tag 100 dusky flathead in the NSW DPI Fisheries Trophy Flathead Program.

Steve cracked the tonne on 20 June 2019 when he tagged and released an 81cm fish. This effort is all the more meritorious when you consider that only dusky flathead of 70cm and over are allowed to be tagged as part of this citizen science program.

A demonstration of Steve’s dedication and skill was that he was able to maintain a tagging rate of better than a fish a week to reach this milestone so quickly.

Five of Steve’s 100 tagged Lake Macquarie flatties have been recaptured, which bears testimony to his fish handling skills and the tagging guidelines developed by NSW DPI Fisheries to ensure the highest possible survival rates.

Some of the Steve’s other notable trophy flathead achievements include the first ever dusky flathead tagged as part of the Lake Macquarie Trophy Flathead Fishery Tagging Program on 8 October 2017, the shortest time at liberty for a tagged flathead before recapture (four days) and the most flathead tagged in a day (four fish).

Steve’s largest fish tagged in the 100 was a 90cm breeding sized female. Of the more than 250 trophy sized flathead tagged so far in Lake Macquarie, only five have been 90cm or larger.

NSW DPI Fisheries congratulates Steve on this amazing effort!

The Trophy Flathead Program is an angler-led citizen science initiative involving small teams of fishers tagging and releasing flathead in Lake Macquarie, St Georges Basin and Tuross.

More than 500 trophy-sized flathead up to 98cm have been tagged so far, with information from the program providing data on post release survivability, growth rates and fish movements.

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