California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Collaborative Studies

Bass Tagging Studies

Tagged kelp bass in La Jolla cove, photo by R. Pace.

Tagged kelp bass in La Jolla cove, photo by R. Pace.

The CDFW is a co-investigator on a saltwater bass population study with Scripps Institution of Oceanography researchers Dr. Brice Semmens and Dr. Ed Parnell, and PhD graduate student Lyall Bellquist. Population estimates of barred sand bass, kelp bass, and spotted sand bass in the San Diego area will be attained using standard mark and recapture techniques. In addition to estimates of population size, data collected from this study will yield information on natural and fishing mortality rates that can be directly incorporated into a stock assessment.

Over 8,500 bass have been tagged since October 2012. If you catch a tagged bass, please note the following:

  • tag number
  • time caught
  • date caught
  • length
  • whether you kept or released the fish with or without the tag still attached
  • location (GPS coordinates if available)

For more information and to report a tagged fish, you can visit the Coastal Angler Tagging Cooperative website, or visit their Facebook page. You can also report a tagged fish by calling the phone number on the tag itself or by using the Catch Reporter™ cell phone application.

The study was funded by a grant offered through Collaborative Fisheries Research West, a program that facilitates research partnerships between fishermen, scientists, and resource managers. The team of collaborators on the project includes the San Diego Oceans Foundation, San Diego Anglers Fishing Club, Fred Hall and Associates, and the Sportfishing Association of California. Numerous other individuals and groups are also assisting with the research. Collaborative Fisheries Research West projects are administered by California Sea Grant and funded by the Ocean Protection Council.

Non-Lethal Method for Sexing California Halibut

Sex determination of a California halibut using ultrasound at the 38th Annual Marina Del Rey Halibut Derby in June 2013.

Sex determination of a California halibut using ultrasound at the 38th Annual Marina Del Rey Halibut Derby in June 2013.

The Project is collaborating with the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation (SMBRF) on a study to test methodology for determining the sex of live California halibut. In this study, a portable ultrasound machine is used to determine the sex of both live and dead halibut. This research is being led by Lia Protopapadakis from SMBRF with support from USC Sea Grant and the Marina Del Rey Anglers. Preliminary results indicate this methodology is successful at correctly sexing halibut. The goal is to assist fishery managers with collecting more sex specific data from live halibut landed in the commercial fishery using type of technology, and to determine the ultrasound's utility for future tagging studies. Upon completion of this research project, SMBRF plans to loan the ultrasound machine to CDFW. A summary of study results will be made available on the CDFW website.