Cash Reward Offered for Tagged Bass in the Arkansas River

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Cash reward offered for tagged bass in the Arkansas River DUMAS – Anglers may find a bonus when they catch a largemouth bass on Pool 2 of the Arkansas River – many wear special reward tags worth $10 to $100.  

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has partnered with the Aquaculture and Fisheries Center at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in an effort to estimate the catch and harvest of largemouth bass from this pool of the river. AGFC and UAPB personnel have tagged 1,500 largemouth bass collected from Pool 2 and released them back into the river. Extensive tagging was done in Coal Pile and Lake Merrisach areas of the river. However, tagged bass were released throughout the river from Dam 3 to the Arkansas Post Canal.

The yellow reward tags are on the left side of the fish just below the dorsal fin. Anglers that catch these bass can keep the tags and call the AGFC toll-free hotline, (877) 367-3559, to report their catch. Tags can be removed from sub-legal bass and returned for rewards.

Anglers calling the hotline will be asked to provide the number printed on the tag, the length of the bass, the date they caught it, whether they kept or released the bass, if they caught it during a fishing tournament, and the general area where the fish was caught. They can mail the tag to the AGFC to collect their reward. Rewards will be chosen at random, but all anglers returning tags will be guaranteed at least $10. Some lucky anglers will receive $50 or $100.

In addition to the tag-reward study, UAPB personnel will conduct brief angler interviews at several boat ramps on Pool 2 next year. The angler survey will collect information on fishing effort and the number of fish caught and harvested. Anglers also will be asked their opinions on certain fishing regulations and the overall quality of fishing in the river.

Information collected from these studies will help AGFC biologists better understand how anglers use the Arkansas River for bass fishing and will help them manage this valuable resource more efficiently.