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Guide to Hudson River Fish and Blue Crab Tags

jaw tagged black bass
A sample of a tag is shown on the
jaw/lip of this black bass.

Many natural resource agencies use fish tags as a tool to identify growth rates and migration routes of certain fish targeted by anglers. Individuals who catch tagged fish are asked to remove the tag by cutting it off close to the body and then forward the tag and information to the responsible agency. Usually the tag itself will show how to contact the agency.

If you catch a tagged fish be sure to record the following information:

  • The tag number
  • The date the fish was caught
  • The specific location where you caught the fish, for instance, "In Rondout Creek near Lou's Boat Basin." If fishing out on the main Hudson River, you can identify location by using daymarkers, buoys, a bridge, points of land, a bay location (as listed on the NOAA navigation charts of the Hudson), a town, or other prominent geographic features.
  • The estimated size and/or weight of the fish.

Also include with the above information your name, address (street, city, state and zip) and a phone number where you can be reached during the day and the evening.

If you catch a largemouth or small mouth bass, please send the information listed above to DEC, by e-mail or regular mail. Address the regular mail to Mike Flaherty, NYSDEC, 21 S. Putt Corners Road, New Paltz, NY 12561. Use the e-mail link in the column to the right to send the information by e-mail.

Pink belly tag in striped bass
This striped bass is tagged in the belly with a pink
tag from the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Striped Bass

If you catch a striped bass, please send all of the information listed above. Also, note the color and the location of the tag on the body of the fish. The tag will have information on how to report the details about the fish you caught.

Tags on Striped Bass

USFWS pink belly tag
This is a striped bass tag from
USFWS.

Pink tag in belly: The tag legend will have the tag number, USFWS (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), and 1-800-448-8322. Call the toll free phone number to report the catch information for your fish.

Yellow tag in belly: The tag legend will have the tag number, $5-$1000, and an address: HRF, P.O. Box 1731, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163. Mail the tag and catch information to that address.

High reward striped bass tag
This tag is also used for striped bass.

Yellow tag before tail: The tag legend will have the tag number, ALS, Highlands, NJ 07732. Mail the tag and catch information to the address.

Green tag in belly: (tag shown to the left) The tag legend will have the tag number, USFWS (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), and 1-800-448-8322. There is a reward of $125 for this tag. Call the phone number toll free to report the catch information for your fish.

American Shad, Sturgeon and River Herring

tagged American shad
American shad are tagged just
below the dorsal fin.
American shad tag
This tag is used on American shad.

American shad: The tags are located below the dorsal fin and can be either red or orange (tag and tagged fish shown above). The tag legend will have the tag number, USFWS, and 1-800-448-8322. Call the toll free phone number to report the catch information for your fish.

Carlin tagged Atlantic sturgeon
Sturgeon are tagged below the dorsal fin.

Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon: The red plastic tags are located below the dorsal fin (tagged fish shown to the left). The tag legend will have the tag number, USFWS, and 1-800-448-8322. Call the phone number toll free to report the catch information for your fish. In 2010 we started using Dart tags on Atlantic sturgeon. The tag legend information is the same as the red plastic tag. Please call the phone number and report catch information for your fish.

River herring tag
River herring are tagged
behind the dorsal fin.

River herring: The yellow tags are located below the dorsal fin (tag is shown at right). The tag legend will have the tag number, USFWS, and 1-800-448-8322. Call the phone number toll free to report the catch information for your fish.

Blue Crabs

A blue crab with an across the back tag and an anchor tag.

There are two types of tags that you may find on a blue crab in the Hudson River. The first is a yellow tag that is located across the back of the crab. The second type is an anchor tag that will be orange or yellow and will be attached at the top of the right swimming leg. The tag legend will have the tag number, NYSDEC research, and 845-256-3171. Please call the phone number to report the catch information for your blue crab. If you have any questions, please call, mail or email the Hudson River Fisheries Unit. The address and phone number are located in the column on the right.


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  • Contact for this Page
  • Hudson River Fisheries Unit
    21 South Putt Corners Road
    New Paltz, NY 12561
    845-256-3072
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