top of page

Tagging FAQ

Why can't I see where my fish has gone yet?

Sometimes it takes fish a little bit of time to acclimate and get going. If your fish has been tagged but hasn't made it ver far upstream it's likely just waiting for the right moment to make its dash.


My fish moved downstream. What's going on?

Occasionally, fish will move downstream after being tagged. This could be in response to being tagged or what the fish would have done on its own. Typically, these fish make their way upstream, but it seems to take them a little more time. 


My fish has been made it to a pond but I'm not seeing much else?

Once fish make it to the pond they typically spend about a month there before returning back downstream. If you don't hear from them it's likely a good thing! While you wait, check out some of the other fish that have been adopted. 


What does CRT do with the money raised?

CRT uses the funds raised from the tagging to help finance outreach associated with the tagging. This includes some interactions with local schools as well as restoration and conservation actions in the river.


What is the Technology Behind the CRT tagging?

The CRT tagging program uses passive integrated transponder tags (PIT tags) similar to the devices placed in many pets. These tags can be 'read' by our readers if they come close enough. By recording when these tags are seen by different readers we can piece together when a fish swam past a particular area. The tags are small cylinders about as long as a nickel. Typically they need to be within a few feet of an antenna to be 'read'.


When do the fish migrate in the Coonamessett and how long does it take?

Generally, the first Alewives arrive in mid- to late-April, with the majority of fish coming around the first week of May. Blueback herring tend to come a little later. These dates can vary from year to year and are thought to be closely tied to water temperature.


How do you tag fish? Does it hurt them?

We catch wild adult river herring in the lower river with a large seine net. This work is permitted by the state and planned in conjunction with state and local biologists. We take these fish out of the water very quickly to measure them and record a few pieces of biological information (like length and species). We then make a very small incision on the belly and insert the tag. The fish are then released back into the river and observed for a short time before continuing on their journey to the ponds to spawn. Previous scientific studies suggest that this tagging procedure does not harm the fish.

bottom of page