Anglers only need to notify agency personnel if the adipose fin (AD) is missing. This is a secondary mark that is used to indicate the fish had a coded-wire tag (CWT) implanted into the snout.
"The advantages of external physical marks are that they can be seen without dissection ... Marking...can be accomplished by clipping or punching fins or other body parts with scissors, nail clippers, side cutters or other tools. Because (fin clipping) is a simple and quick process, it has been a popular marking method employed on many different types of organisms...it is often used in conjunction with other marking methods to alert the person recovering the organism to look for internal tags." - Nielson, L. A. and Johnson, D. L., 1983. Fisheries Techniques.
Additional Information about Fin Clips:
- Great Lakes Fish Stocking Database
Information on fin-clipped fish can be obtained from agency personnel or by visiting the "Great Lakes Fish Stocking Database". This database was developed by Great Lakes fisheries agencies for fishery managers, scientists and other interested parties desiring access to a centralized, comprehensive database of all fish stocked into the Great Lakes. Interested parties may search a particular species and clip to determine stocking origin.
- Lake Superior State University; Aquatic Research Lab to Release 38,000 Atlantic Salmon
Every year, staff at the LSSU research lab clip a particular fin from all Atlantic salmon, to identify the age of the fish as it returns to the sport catch.
- Lake Michigan Steelhead Fin Clips 1995-2009