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I am not absolutely positive since I didn't fish muskies in those days (I was only 8 yrs old), but I think they are tags that anglers were required to attach to a legal size musky that they kept. They may have also been required to register their catch. I think you had to pay extra for each tag and there was also a musky stamp you had to purchase and attach to your fishing license.

 

I remember there used to be a sporting license used for fishing and hunting and you would get a stamp for fishing when you buy a fishing license. There were also stamps for various hunting permits as well as one for muskie that there was an extra fee for. I am not sure but I think there was an extra fee for a musky tag. I am not sure how many you could have in one season.

 

If there are any members reading this who were fishing muskies back then, they might chime in with confirmation or correct me.

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not sure if it was state wide but on chautauqua you had to have them not sure when

they stoped it was 5 a year back then you kept your catch

metal ones were the early one then they went to plastic i think i gave one or some to

bob s at the chautauqua torn this sumer

Edited by rougarou
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Zack you are correct, those are indeed Chautauqua muskie tags. They came with the special Chautauqua muskie license required to fish for muskie on all waters in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties until the early 90s when it was discontinued. The license cost $5 and came with a strip of five tags each with a serial number which matched the numbers on your license. They were affixed to the fish through the gills and mouth and locked together at the ends. Interesting to note the spelling on your older metal tags, "muskalonge". On the license were 5 spaces with each serial number to fill in the catch information, size, date, body of water, etc. At the end of the season the license had to be mailed in to DEC. I still have a few from the last years and the light blue plastic tags in strips of 5. The reason they were discontinued was it gave people the idea that they were entitled to keep five fish per year and at the time they were discontinued catch and release was really catching on so DEC did not want to reinforce the notion that muskies were to be kept even though it is perfectly legal. Also at the time that change came the regulations concerning pike in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus county waters also changed. Before that it was encouraged to keep and kill all pike from all waters, year round, no closed season, no bag limit and no size limit. This was dropped because the average weekend angler can't tell pike from muskies easily and it would have resulted in more dead muskies. Hope this helps :)

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Thanks for the info S F. Sounds like, it was mainly used to gather catch info to help evaluate the fishery and also maybe to limit angler's yearly catch so some didn't over harvest. Do you know what the daily limit and minimum size and season dates were back then?

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