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I stayed at Otisco a few weekends ago with my wife and daughter to do some fishing and apple picking. I only got out for fishing an hour or two here and there and of course I could only seem to catch a fish when my daughter was napping or before she was awake in the morning. Finally, the last day we were there I hooked a fish with my daughter in the boat and was able to slide it right into the net. Not a monster, measuring around 30" but I was sure glad to have finally landed a tiger with her. Since I was alone I wasn't able to get a good picture but the memory will do!

 

As I was releasing the fish I noticed something on it's back, a tag. I picked it back up out of the water and put it in my net (in the water), I had never heard of the tigers being tagged so I decided to check it out. After scraping the algae off the tag, I was able to quickly read the info on the tag, recorded the number, and safely released the fish. Later that week I called the info into the DEC, the gentleman that handles Otisco was not in but they took my email and said they would get back to me about the information of the fish. I "googled" Otisco tagged tigers and came up with one relevant hit. In the 2014 Angler Study it had mentioned capturing and tagging 5 tigers. I had thought to myself "that would be really something if I had caught 1 out of 5 tigers that were tagged 2 years ago..." but figured maybe there were other years a bunch were tagged.

 

I was half expecting not to hear anything back but I received an email within a week. The biologist that responded to my email confirmed that there are only 5 tigers in Otisco that have tags and that I should go buy a lottery ticket.....haha! The biologist told me my fish was 23.8 inches long, weighed 2.5 pounds and was aged at 3 years old on 9/24/2014 when it was tagged. So, it had grown 6.2†and would now be 5 years old, that’s about average as a 30†tiger is usually around 5 years old on Otisco.  

 

Keep an eye out for tags in your tigers, there are a few lurking out there (well at least 1 is for sure). Here is the excerpt from the 2014 Angler Diary:

 

During the 2014 FCS twelve tigers were caught with lengths ranging from 7.5 inches (recently stocked) to 35.3 inches (Appendix 2). Five of the tigers were tagged before being released with grey colored Floy tags (looks like a piece of spaghetti), placed in front of the dorsal fin. If you catch a tagged tiger please do NOT remove the tag if releasing the fish. Please write down the tag number and fish length in your diary before releasing the fish. If the fish is kept, please remove the tag and tape it in your diary on the appropriate page next to the length.

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