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Fishermen win big in Tagging Program drawing

Morehead City

Twelve lucky fishermen won $100 each in a recent N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Multi-Species Tagging Program yearly drawing.

The tagging program randomly selected tag numbers from more than 930 fish tags that were turned in by fishermen in 2016. Three tag numbers were drawn from each of the four species that are tagged by the program.

The $100 winners who turned in tags from red drum were: Bryan Murphrey of Greenville, Jason Shannon of Wilmington and Sam England of Weston, W.Va.

The $100 winners who turned in tags for striped bass were: Brian Brosenne of Goldsboro, Andy Kirkland of Hobgood and Helen Browning of Wilmington.

The $100 winners who turned in tags for southern flounder were: Glenda Bright of Jacksonville, Michael Gooden of Morehead City and William Whichard of Chocowinity.

The $100 winners who turned in tags for spotted seatrout were: Keith Bruno of Oriental, Milton Miller of Pink Hill and Virginia Moser of Hillsborough.

The Multi-Species Tagging Program began in October 2014 and is funded by a Coastal Recreational Fishing License grant. Staff and volunteers place yellow or red tags on 15,000 fish each year.

Fishermen who catch the tagged fish and return the tags with required information to the division receive a letter and personalized certificate with information about the fish, as well as a reward. Those who return a yellow tag marked with “NCDMF” receive either $5, a tagging program hat, fish towel, or fish pin. Those who return a red tag marked with “NCDMF” and “$100 REWARD” receive a $100 monetary reward. 

Fishermen must record the species, tag number, date, location captured, total length of the fish, fate of the fish (released or harvested) and the type of gear used to capture the fish. Yellow tags may be reported by phone, but red tags must be cut-off and returned to the division for the fisherman to receive the reward.

Information gathered from tag returns allows researchers to determine species migration patterns, mortality, population structure and habitat use.

This year, the division added Cobia to the Multi-Species Tagging Program. Fisherman returning Cobia tags in 2017 will be eligible for the next $100 annual drawing.

Go here to learn more about the Multi-Species Tagging Program, or contact Ami Staples at 252-948-3913 or

Download photos of some of the $100 winners and their fish here.

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