MDMR fisheries staff tracking tripletail with satellite tags in Gulf

Marine fisheries staff at the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) have successfully tagged and released four tripletail in the Mississippi Sound. MDMR staff are monitoring their movements in real time through a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sportfish Restoration project focused on studying the movement patterns of migratory sportfish.

The project is a first as tripletail have not previously been equipped with satellite tags in the Gulf of Mexico. Each of the tagged fish measures over 24 inches and the tags are intended to track the fish through their winter migrations.

Photo courtesy MDMR

The first fish, Tag 407, was tagged and released southeast of Cat Island on Sept. 3 but has not stayed at the surface long enough for satellite communication.

The second fish, Tag 402, was tagged and released northwest of Petit Bois Island on Sept. 9 and has spent substantial time at the surface, corresponding to days with calmer seas. Tag 402 has travelled at least 32 miles since being tagged, including as much as 12 miles in just 24 hours.

The third and fourth fish, Tag 404 and Tag 399, respectively, were tagged east of the Pascagoula Ship Channel on Sept. 30. MDMR staff are currently awaiting tracking data to include on the next tripletail tracking update.

The tagging and release process for these fish, as well as updates for their whereabouts and newly tagged fish, can be viewed at dmr.ms.gov/tripletail-tagging.

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