FLY FISHING GUIDE PROPOSES ROOSTERFISH TAGGING PROGRAM
Oct. 1, 2005, Ed Kunze, Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Mexico Roosterfish Tagging Proposal:
I have lived in Zihuatanejo for over 7 years now. I am a fly fishing guide, and the roosterfish is probably my absolute favorite gamefish. The commercial take of roosters is a problem. Another problem is the lack of knowledge by the angler. Many a fish is killed just because the pangero says he will take it home and eat it, which is okay. But, to kill 5 or 6 fish is commercialization all over again.
I have experienced all this before. When I moved here, Ixtapa Zihuatanejo was a killing ground for bill fish. But, as the angling public became aware of the need for conservation, combined with the education of the local captains, we are now releasing almost 85 percent of our billfish.
Under the current trend, the roosterfish, with its limited range from Peru to Baja, when stocks get too low, has even a greater risk for recovery than the billfish. Conservation of the species must start very soon.
I do believe new tags would have to made for a roosterfish tagging program. For one, the NOAA and TBF would not be to happy about using a bunch of their billfish tags for roosters, but mainly because the billfish tag is too big to stick into a 5 pound rooster.
A tag one-half the size of a billfish tag would be about right. Then a 5 pound rooster could be stuck with no adverse affects, and they would work just fine on large fish also. The tag dart should remain the same size, because they are universally used on all boats.
--Ed Kunze IGFA Representative.
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