On September 3, the American Littoral Society (ALS) provided a fluke tagging training trip off the Mi-Jo II out of the Atlantic Highlands with undergraduate Stockton University research students including Dylan Garrabrant, Jared Handelman, Matt Pagano, Scott Ulrick, and Grant Johnson. “The captain took us for a bit of a ride, northeast along Long Island, not too far from the beach. But the ride paid off big time,” said Dr. Adam Aguiar who runs Stockton University’s Striped Bass Tagging research program at Stockton which uses circular clip tags to learn more about the behavior and migration patterns of striped bass and other local saltwater species.
Dr. Aguiar and his Stockton research students tagged and released all their fluke, even those up to 18 inches. His group alone caught porgy, chub mackerel, fluke, sea bass, and sea robin. The tagging instructor onboard for the day was ALS fish tagging director Emily McGuckin, a Stockton alumni herself who majored in marine science. ALS provides the Stockton-specific branded tags and relevant tagging training.
“Participants were also blessed by calm seas, clear skies, and a whale sighting,” said Dr. Aguiar, who added “The Mi-Jo II crew were exceptionally helpful and attentive. The captain made sure that each drift over the structure, in about 50 to 60 feet of water, was highly productive.” All together the trip had 61 anglers (from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania) with over 200 fish caught and more than 120 fluke tagged. The biggest caught on the trip was just under 19 inches, and multiple 18-inchers were tagged and released.
Overall, the experience seemed fun, rewarding, and educational for Dr. Aguiar and his research students, but also for the other attendees. Get more details on ALS online at littoralsociety.org.