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Coded wire tags (CWT)

You can help in the monitoring of Great Lakes salmon and trout populations. Many of these fish have been marked with a small coded-wire tag, which is implanted in the head of the fish, but invisible to the naked eye.

If you catch a fish that is missing only the adipose fin (see photo, above), it is possible that it has had a coded-wire tag implanted into its snout. Please use the coded wire tag recovery form to record the following information: date caught, location caught, species, length, weight, sex (if possible) and fin clip.

Remove and freeze the fish's snout (part of head from behind the eyes forward), and drop off the snout along with data sheet at a drop off location, or email DNR-Fish-CWT@michigan.gov for a list of local sites. Please do not put in the mail!

Did you know? All samples for CWT processing end up at the Charlevoix Fisheries Research Station. Once the samples arrive, tags are extracted, read under a microscope and both the angler and fish data is entered into a large database. If a tag is extracted, the fishermen will be notified of the age and stocking location of their catch.

Please email DNR-Fish-CWT@michigan.gov or call 231-330-2845 for more information.

Drop off locations

County Organization Name Address City State Zip Code Phone Number Notes
Allegan DNR Plainwell Customer Service Center 621 N 10th St Plainwell MI 49080 269-685-6851
Alpena DNR Alpena Fisheries Station 160 E Fletcher St Alpena MI 49707 989-590-8370 or 517-282-9227 M-F, call ahead to confirm availability (choose any extension)
Alpena Alpena City Boat Launch 400 E. Chisholm St. Alpena MI 49707 989-354-1750 Freezer in fish cleaning station. May to October.
Alpena Advanced Wildlife Design 3361 US 23 S Alpena MI 49707 989-356-3600
Alcona Harrisville State Park Office 248 State Park Rd Harrisville MI 49740 989-724-5126
Baraga DNR Baraga Customer Service Center 427 US 41 North Baraga MI 49908 906-353-6651
Barry Al & Pete's Sport Shop 111 S Jefferson St Hastings MI 49058 269-945-4417
Bay DNR Bay City Customer Service Center 3580 State Park Dr Bay City MI 48706 989-684-9141 M-F, 8a-5p
Benzie East Shore Marina 324 Lake St Frankfort MI 49635 N/A May-Sept
Benzie Frankfort Municipal Ramp N/A Frankfort MI 49635 231-352-9051 Freezer in fish cleaning station
Benzie Betsie Bay Marina 100 Frankfort Ave Elberta MI 49628 231-352-2628
Berrien Rusty Hooks Bait & Tackle 209 E Main St Niles MI 49120 269-683-3774 6:30a-5:30p
Berrien St Joseph City Launch Marina Island St Joseph MI 49085 N/A Freezer in fish cleaning station
Berrien Shamrock Park Campground St Joseph River at the Bridge Berrien Springs MI 49103 n/a Freezer in fish cleaning station
Berrien Tackle Haven 741 Riverview Dr Benton Harbor MI 49022 269-925-0341
Charlevoix DNR Charlevoix Fisheries Station 96 Grant St Charlevoix MI 49720 M-F, 7a-3:30p. Freezer is near the back door
Charlevoix Ferry Beach Boat Launch N/A Charlevoix MI 49720 N/A Freezer in fish cleaning station
Cheboygan City Boat Launch N/A Cheboygan MI 49721 N/A Freezer in fish cleaning station
Chippewa Clover Land Electric Power Plant - LSSU Aquatics Lab Portage St Sault Ste Marie MI 49783 906-635-1949
Chippewa Aune Osborn Boat Launch N/A Sault Ste Marie MI 49783 N/A Freezer in fish cleaning station Mid-April-Mid-Oct
Chippewa Detour Village Fish Cleaning Station N/A Detour Village MI 49725 N/A Freezer in fish cleaning station
Clare Jays Sporting Goods 8800 S Clare Ave Clare MI 48617 989-386-3475
Delta Bayshore Bait & Tackle 1323 N Lakeshore Dr Gladstone MI 49837 989-428-9687
Delta DNR Escanaba Customer Service Center 6833 Hwy 2 (M-41 & M-35) Escanaba MI 49837 906-786-2351
Delta Fairport Marina M-183 Fairport MI 49835 N/A Freezer in fish cleaning station
Eaton Fitzgerald Park 133 Fitzgerald Park Grand Ledge MI 48837 517-627-7351
Emmett DNR Oden State Fish Hatchery Visitor Center 3377 1/2 Oden Rd Oden MI 49764 231-347-4689 DO NOT drop heads at hatchery due to potential of spreading disease
Genesee Fishing Tackle Grab Bag 5521 N State St Davison MI 48423 810-653-4771
Grand Traverse DNR Traverse City Customer Service Center 2122 S M-37 Traverse City MI 49686 231-922-5280 M-F, 8a - 5p
Grand Traverse Elmwood Township Marina 13051 SW Bay Shore Dr. Traverse City MI 49684 231-330-2845
Huron Offshore Tackle 5 Lytle Ave Harbor Beach MI 48441 989-324-0273
Huron Harbor Beach Marina & Boat Launch N/A Harbor Beach MI 48441 N/A Freezer in fish cleaning station
Huron Captain Morgan's Grindstone Resort 3337 Point Aux Barques Rd Port Austin City MI 48467 989-738-7665 Freezer is next to ice machine
Ingham DNR Lansing Customer Service Center 4166 Legacy Pky Lansing MI 48911 517-284-4720 M-F, 8a - 5p
Iosco Dockside 106 S Newman Tawas City MI 48763 N/A
Iosco Bay Party Store 718 East Bay St. (US-23) East Tawas MI 48730 989-362-2332
Iosco Au Sable River Store 680 W River Rd Oscoda MI 49750 989-739-5332 Open all year
Iosco The Dam Store 1879 E River Rd Oscoda MI 49750 989-739-9979 Open all year
Iosco Wellmans Party and Bait 910 S State Oscoda MI 49750 989-739-2869 Open all year
Iron DNR Crystal Falls Field Office 300 US 2 West Crystal Falls MI 49920 906-875-6622
Kalamazoo D&R Sports 8178 W Main Kalamazoo MI 49009 269-372-2277
Kent Brenners Auto Service 4765 W River Dr Comstock Park MI 49231 616-785-3388
Kent Sparta Sport Shop 169 N State Sparta MI 49345 616-887-8661
Luce DNR Newberry Customer Service Center 5100 State Hwy M123 Newberry MI 49868 989-293-5131 M-F, 8a - 5p
Mackinac St. Ignace City Boat Launch N/A St Ignace MI 49781 N/A Freezer at fish cleaning station
Mackinac Nunn's Creek Fisheries Enhancement Center 8100 HC47 Hessel MI 49745 906-484-2391
Macomb DNR Lake St Clair Fisheries Research Station 33135 S River Rd Mt Clemens MI 48043 586-465-4771 M-F, call ahead to confirm availability (choose any extension)
Manistee Andy's Tackle Box 147559 Coates Hwy Brethren MI 49619 231-477-5737 Open year round
Manistee First Street Boat Launch Manistee First St Manistee MI 49660 N/A Freezer at fish cleaning station
Manistee Hank & Son's Tackle 16441 Coates Hwy Brethren MI 49619 231-477-5450
Manistee Insta-Launch Marina & Campsites 20 Park Ave Manistee MI 49660 231-723-3901
Manistee The Tangled Tackle 226 W Parkdale Rd Manistee MI 49660 231-887-4242
Manistee Pappy's Bait & Tackle 17092 Caberfae Hwy Wellston MI 49689 231-848-4142 Open year round
Manistee Portage Lake Marina 5159 Main St Onekama MI 49660 231-889-5825
Manistee Solberg's Marina 267 Arthur St Manistee MI 49660 231-723-2611
Marquette DNR Marquette Customer Service Center 1990 US 41 South Marquette MI 49855 906-228-6561 DO NOT drop heads at hatchery due to potential of spreading disease
Mason Loomis St. Boat Launch Washington St. Ludington MI 49431 N/A Freezer in the fish cleaning station
Mason Captain Chucks, Inc. 5756 W US 10 Ludington MI 49431 231-843-4458
Muskegon Fisherman's Landing 501 E Western Ave Muskegon MI 49444 231-726-6100 May-Oct
Muskegon DNR Hoffmaster State Park 6585 Lake Harbor Rd Muskegon MI 49441 231-798-3711
Muskegon DNR Snug Harbor Boat launch 3560 Memorial Dr Muskegon MI 49441 N/A Freezer in fish cleaning station
Muskegon DNR Muskegon State Game area Field Office 7600 E Messinger Rd Twin Lakes MI 49457 231-788-5055 M-F, 8a - 5p
Muskegon Montague Municipal Boat Launch 8500 Ramp Rd Montague MI 49437 N/A Freezer at fish cleaning station
Muskegon Shoreline Service Bait & Tackle 2080 Lakeshore Dr Muskegon MI 49444 231-759-7254
Oakland Waterford Fisheries Station 7806 Gale Rd Waterford MI 48327 248-221-8887 M-F, 8a-4:30p
Oceana Pentwater City Marina 519 S Hancock Pentwater MI 49449 231-869-7028 Freezer in fish cleaning station
Otsego DNR Gaylord Customer Service Center 1732 W M32 Gaylord MI 49735 989-732-3541
Ottawa Grand Haven Chinook Pier N Harbor Dr Grand Haven MI 49417 616-842-2550 Freezer by Fish clean station
Ottawa DNR Holland Boat Launch 101 Bower St Holland MI 49424 616-399-9390 May-Sept, freezer at the fish cleaning station
Ottawa Fish On Bait & Tackle 13664 Cleveland Ave Nunica MI 49448 616-935-6985
Ottawa Lake View Marine & Tackle 24 N Beechtree St Grand Haven MI 49417 616-842-2770
Presque Isle Rogers City Boat Harbor 270 Lake St Rogers City MI 49779 517-734-3808 Late May - Sept, freezer in fish cleaning station
Sanilac Port Sanilac Boat Launch N/A Port Sanilac MI 48469 N/A Freezer at fish cleaning station
Sanilac Lexington Harbor N/A Lexington MI 48450 N/A Freezer at fish cleaning station
Schoolcraft City of Manistique Boat Launch N/A Manistique MI 49854 N/A Freezer at fish cleaning station
St. Clair Anderson's Pro Bait 2731 Pine Grove Ave Port Huron MI 48060 810-984-3232
St. Clair Blue Water Bait 8089 Dixie Hwy Fair Haven MI 48023 586-725-1448 Next to Fair Haven DNR Launch
Van Buren Black River Boat Launch- South Haven 298 Black River St South Haven MI 49090 269-637-3523 Freezer at fish cleaning station
Van Buren DNR Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery 34270 CR 652 Mattawan MI 49071 616-688-2696 M-F, 8a-5p
Wayne DNR Detroit Customer Service Center 1801 Atwater St Detroit MI 48207 313-396-6890 M-F, 8a - 5p
Wexford DNR Cadillac Customer Service Center 8015 Mackinac Tr Cadillac MI 49701 231-775-9727 M-F, 8a - 5p
Wexford DNR Harrietta Field Office 6801 30 Mile Rd Harrietta MI 49638 231-389-2551 DO NOT drop heads at hatchery due to potential of spreading disease

Additional Information:

  • Coded-Wire Tag Returns in the Sport Catch - Port Specific Results
    Results are from CWT's that were collected from the sport catch at various ports. The total number of CWT's returned by port for multiple species (example; chinook salmon, lake trout and steelhead) over the last 5 years is reported. Additional summaries (by age, by stocking site) are included for most ports.