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Tautog Tagging Program

Complete the tautog tag online request form to receive additional tags. For further assistance, contact VTR@dec.ny.gov or (631) 444-0857.

IMPORTANT: DEC currently has a low supply of tautog tags. Additional tags have been ordered and are anticipated shortly. While supplies are limited, license holders may be limited to orders of 200 tags at a time to make supplies last. Once additional supply arrives, your full order will be shipped to you. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

New York State Commercial Tautog Tagging Information

Tautog with tag attached to gill plate with the tag information visible.
Tautog with tag attached to gill plate with the tag information visible.

For New York State Food Fish License holders who plan to commercially harvest tautog.

All commercially harvested tautog must be tagged in order to be sold or offered for sale. Tautog harvesters must comply with all the tagging requirements as specified in NYCRR subdivision 40.1(o)(4). These requirements are in addition to the commercial seasons, size limits, and trip limits for commercially harvesting tautog in New York State.

The 2021 tagging season will run April 16, 2021 through January 25, 2022.

Tag Program Basics:

  1. As part of a pilot program, tags and shipping costs will be provided at no cost to license holders for 2021.*Due to COVID-19 all tags will be shipped directly to permit holders and tag pick-up will not be available*
  2. Maximum Order Size: This is the maximum amount of tags a license holder can request in a single tag order. This number is calculated every year and is the highest historical number of tautog reported landed in one calendar year by the license holder during any of the previous 3 calendar years. If a license holder has no history of landing tautog in the previous 3 calendar years they are only eligible to submit 1 tag order request per business week, for a maximum of 50 tags per order.
  3. Minimum Order Size: 25 tags
  4. Additional Orders: Once the license holder has reported using 80% of the tags from their previous order, they can submit another order request. If a license holder is accounting for all of their tag usage, there is no limit on the number of orders a license holder can make within any given tautog season.
  5. Tag Order Requests: Request tags online or fill out the Commercial Tautog Tagging Order Form Request (PDF) that can be submitted by mail, email, fax or in person. All addresses and associated phone numbers are located on the form. These requests can take up to 5 business days to process.
  6. Once the Tags are Received: License holders must complete and return an Acknowledgement Form once they receive their tags. License holders will be responsible for lost, stolen, duplicate tags, and serial numbers in their possession that were not assigned to them.
  7. Applying Tags: Tags must be applied to commercially harvested tautog prior to any commercially harvested species from that trip being offloaded or transferred to shore, to another vessel, to an in-water storage unit, or to any pier, wharf, dock, or similar structure. Tags should be applied to one of the tautog's gill plates with the tag information visible on the outside of the fish.
tool used to apply tags
Tag applicator

Tag Reporting and Accounting Requirements:

  1. License holders must submit complete and accurate tag and vessel trip reports. Final reports for the tagging season are due by February 15, 2022.
  2. Reporting Tag Usage: In addition to the reporting requirements specified in NYCRR subdivision 40.1(c), license holders must report both pounds, count, and the tag serial numbers used for all commercially harvested tautog landed in New York State. Each fisherman is responsible for reporting their own tag use with their own signature. Please refer to the attached document Tautog Tag Reporting Instructions (PDF), also posted on our website for full reporting instructions:
  3. Broken, Damaged, or Unused Tags: All tags that are broken, damaged, or unused must be returned to the Department with a Commercial Tautog Tag Return Form (PDF) by February 15, 2022. Any tags that have been issued to a license holder that are not reported as used on a trip report, or returned to the department, will be considered "lost" and the license holder will not receive accounting credit for those tags.
  4. Lost or Stolen Tags: Any license holder who loses tags must report the loss to the department on their fishing reports, or through a Commercial Tautog Tag Loss Form (PDF) form provided by the department, within 24 hours.
  5. Excessive tag loss: If a license holder is unable to account for more than 20% of the tags issued to them due to a one-time loss, they may submit an excessive loss application for the opportunity to receive one additional tag order during that tagging season.

License holders who fail to comply with program requirements may not be eligible to receive tautog tags for the following tagging season.

Additional Program Details:

Tag applicators can be purchased from the National Band and Tag Company (leaves DEC website) please use National Band & Tag Company's Applicator Form (PDF) to order applicators.

Live Storage: If a license holder wants to possess commercially harvested tautog in storage in the waters of the marine and coastal district over the commercial possession limit, they must complete and submit trip reports for all live stored tautog to the department within 24 hours of landing. License holders who wish to live store tautog are highly encouraged to submit their records for these trips online through eTrips to meet the 24 hour trip report submission requirement. Copies of these reports must be retained for inspection onboard their vessel during the tagging season.

Tag Usage and Possession: It is unlawful to reuse or alter any tautog tag. Tags are non-transferable, and it is unlawful for any person to possess tautog tags issued to another license holder.

  • For questions about reporting, order requests, or to get more forms contact the Data Management Unit at VTR@dec.ny.gov or (631) 444-0857.
  • For questions about the tagging program guidelines contact the Marine Finfish Unit at (631) 444-0469.

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  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 631-444-0430.
  • Contact for this Page
  • Division of Marine Resources
    123 Kings Park Blvd.
    (Nissequogue River State Park)
    Kings Park, New York 11754
    631-444-0430
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