GLOUCESTER — The Virginia Game Fish Tagging Program (VGFTP) recently celebrated the achievements of its top volunteers during 2020 in an online ceremony. In 2020, volunteers in the Tagging Program applied more than 21,123 tags and had 1,544 recaptures. Speckled trout led again as the top tagged species, making up 50.8% (10,720 tags) of tagging effort in 2020. The Top Tagger in 2020 was Ed Shepherd, who has now tagged more than 83,000 fishes during his time in the program!
A cooperative effort between the Marine Advisory Program at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the Virginia Saltwater Tournament at the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC), the VGFTP uses state saltwater license funds to train volunteer anglers to tag and release recreationally important finfishes. Since the program began in 1995, the volunteers have contributed more than 366,000 tagging records and 36,589 recapture records. These important data are shared with fishery managers, helping contribute information about life history and habitat utilization for some of local anglers’ favorite species.
Top Taggers for 2020
|Triggerfish||David Cohn||Rob Collins|
|Spadefish||David Cohn (Virginia Beach)||Alex Perez (Norfolk)|
|Tautog||David Gladysiewicz (Greenbackville)||Ken Neill|
|Overall Recaptures||Ed Shepherd||Scott Vinson|
|Black Sea Bass||Ed Shepherd||Rob Collins (Norfolk)|
|Red Drum||Ed Shepherd||Carl Stover (Yorktown)|
|Speckled Trout||Ed Shepherd||Scott Vinson|
|Overall Tags||Ed Shepherd (Yorktown)||Scott Vinson (Williamsburg)|
|Sheepshead||Joe Hudgins (Chesapeake)||Ken Neill|
|Black Drum||John Knight (Virginia Beach)||T.T.M. Embry (Williamsburg)|
|Cobia||Jorj & Hayden Head (Seaford)||Ken Neill (Seaford)|
|Flounder||Scott Vinson||Ed Shepherd|