Flathead tagging records set!

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Brian Rowley with the Tuross River tagged flatty.

THE NSW DPI Trophy Flathead Tagging Program has been operating in a selected number of estuaries along the coast since early 2016. With a small team of dedicated and passionate anglers, there have been over 1,230 dusky flathead tagged and 170 reported as recaptured. While many flathead recaptures are often short term (less than 60 days), the program has now started to receive more longer-term recaptures which adds to to the knowledge base and understanding of this popular recreational species.

One particular dusky recapture has set the bar for the longest time at liberty (days) and overall growth in centimetres. This fish was one of the first tagged under the “trophy flattie fishery” concept. The fish was originally tagged on 9 December 2016 by passionate angler and local fishing guru Peter Dugan, who owns and operates South Coast Estuary Charters. The fish was tagged in the Tuross River and measured in at 63.8 centimetres.

On 7 February 2022 the tagged fish was then recaptured in the Tuross River by angler Brian Rowley. After the initial excitement of catching such a quality fish, Brian quickly got the details of the tag, measured the fish on a wet brag mat and then took a few quick snaps before re-releasing the fish in excellent condition. While the fish had moved less than one nautical mile from its original release location, it is the other data obtained that made this recapture exciting. The dusky had been at liberty for over 5 years and 2 months (1886 days) and had grown an impressive 23.2 centimetres to 87cm during that period!

If you are lucky enough to recapture a tagged fish, please ensure you report it using our online recapture form, which can be found here: https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/recreational/resources/fish-tagging/game-fish-tagging/gamefish-recapture

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