Jaw Tags

Jaw Tag
Jaw Tag in a Pike

Report Jaw Tags

Many projects have been conducted using jaw tags. You might catch a fish bearing an external tag with the letters DNR, MDNR, MI DNR or MICH DNR (or other combinations). If you catch a fish with a jaw tag, please report the following information: species, length, weight (if known), tag location (where tag was attached), identification number (the larger of the two sets of numbers), tag return address (for example MICH DNR MM-1), capture date, and capture location by using the tag return form. In the notes box of the form, please list time of capture and sex of fish (if known).

Upon receiving your information, a letter stating when and where the fish was tagged will be sent to you via US mail.

If you catch a tagged fish during catch and release season, or if you choose not to keep the fish, please record the tag information to properly report upon release.

Additional Information about Jaw Tags:

  • Inland Waterway Survey
    The DNR is conducting a three-year tag-and-recapture study on the walleye population in the inland waterway in Northern Michigan. The tag-and-recapture study consists of jaw tagging walleye to determine movement and seasonal distribution of the species in the inland waterway - instructions for returning jaw tags. In addition to the tag-and-recapture study, Michigan State University is also evaluating larval walleye distribution, the forage community of the waterway and walleye diets - instructions for returning walleye stomachs.
  • Lake Huron / Erie Tagging Project
    These projects are used to determine movement, set harvest limits and determine mortality rates. Walleye tagging programs are ongoing in both Lake Erie and Lake Huron. Lake Huron tagging started in 1981. Lake Erie tagging started in 1978.
  • Green Bay Tagging Project
    Jaw tagging is used to assess movement patterns and annual rates of exploitation and survival of walleye in Michigan waters of Green Bay. Tagging started in 1988 and is ongoing.
  • Beaver Island Archipelago Tagging Project
    Central Michigan University (CMU) is conducting a smallmouth bass study in and around Beaver Island. The study is designed to determine population estimates and movement patterns. Tagged smallmouth bass may have one or more of the following: jaw, anchor, or sonic tags.
  • Corey Lake and Pleasant Lake
    The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will be conducting a fish survey on Corey and Pleasant Lakes during the spring and summer of 2008. The study is being conducted to collect information on indices of abundance and estimates of annual harvest and fishing effort for largemouth bass. A second objective of the study is to collect sufficient growth and mortality statistics to be able to evaluate effects of fishing on largemouth bass. Special fishing regulations have been established on these lakes to improve these valuable fisheries.