2019 Striped Bass Study in New York
Satellite Tag deployed May 21, 2019
Location: New York Harbor
Afternoon Outgoing Tide
Visible Waning Moon (2 days past Full Moon)

First ever satellite tagged Striped Bass

In quick summary, the Gray FishTag Research team in conjunction with The Fisherman Magazine and Paul Michelefrom Navionics traveled to New York City to catch, satellite tag and release two good candidates to carry the tags. The first fish was a 34” Striped Bass named “Liberty” which has delivered itsdata. At this time, the second Striped Bass tagged named “Freedom” is still at large.

Our team at Gray FishTag Research has spent the last two weeks with the Marine Biologists and Technicians at Wildlife Computers to compile the amazing amount of data the tag collected.

We believe this study is exceptional in many ways. In satellite tagging, we typically must wait for the tag which was deployed to release and the data to be transmitted through Argos satellites. In this case what was exceptional is the fact a woman physically recaptured the actual tag at the Cape Cod Canal near Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts providing us with the opportunity to obtain the entire data set. As a result of the finding of the actual tag our data points were recorded in 15 second intervals.

These two Striped Bass were satellite tagged with a wildlife MiniPAT pop-off tag that has three components to collect data.

1- Tracking Data: Light-based Geolocation

2- Diving Behavior: Time-at-Depth Histograms

3- Temperature Profiles: Profile of Depth and Temperature

We must always remember that fish in the ocean or wild never swim in a straight line and the graphs you see are averages based upon light sensors, temperature and depth information. It has taken a team to process the millions of data points, averages of physical data, to create the three charts attached.

Based upon the three types of data collected this information has shown and we were able to collaboratively state with great certainty that “Liberty” has traveled over 300 miles (straight line) from New York in an eight week period spending most of the time in offshore waters following the contour edge of the continental shelf in the Northeast, also known as the Canyons.

In all fish telemetry, there is always a small margin for errorwhich we consider to be minimal in this study due to the fact we physically recaptured the original satellite tag.

“Liberty” was originally tagged on May 21, 2019 around 1:00 P.M. and our tag was released from this Striped Bass on July 9, 2019. At no time between those dates did the tag ever loss all three components. (Light, Temperature and Depth)

On July 9, 2019 the tag began to float and was guided by windsand current and evidently ended up washing up on Cape Cod Canal near Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts. A woman walking the beach recovered the tag and contacted our office. She was kind enough to overnight the original tag to us and in return she received a financial reward as well as a pair of 580 Costa Del Mar sunglasses.

This Striped Bass study reflects the movement of one fish caught and released in the Hudson River mouth and draws no conclusion of all Striped Bass behavior. However, the groundbreaking movement lets us know that further work is a necessity from the team at Gray FishTag Research. There is so much more research that needs to be done to study the current patterns and movements of Striped Bass.

Our goal is to continue to satellite tag many more Striped Bass in the Hudson River mouth during the same time of year in an effort to control the data collected on these great fish.

We anxiously await the reporting of “Freedom” and will share the information once collected.

All the data collected by Gray Fishtag Research is Open Access and available to the public when requested in writing.

Please get involved and be a part of our Expedition Trips in the future. Gray FishTag Research is not for profit and all donations are tax deductible


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