Tagged Salmon

Salmon Anglers Asked to Look for Tag

Anglers who catch a tagged salmon are asked to turn in the heads and report information to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.


Dave Fryda, Missouri River System supervisor, said while most Lake Sakakawea salmon anglers are aware of the tagging program, anglers fishing the Missouri River – especially the Garrison Dam Tailrace – tend to be less aware of the importance of watching for tagged fish.


“There is no external tag to look for, only the adipose clip,” Fryda said.


The adipose fin is a small fleshy lobe found on the back toward the tail. If the fin is missing, it was likely removed by Game and Fish biologists and the salmon probably has a micro-tag embedded in its head.


Micro-tags are inserted into a sample of young salmon before being stocked into Lake Sakakawea and the Missouri River. This microscopic tag is implanted near the snout, and contains a code that identifies stocking information.


Heads can be turned into Game and Fish, or local bait shops. Anglers will be provided information about the fish when tags are extracted and read by biologists.