Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Drum Tag Recaptures

How old is that fish?
We all know that red drum grow pretty fast until they get about 40 inches long, then their growth rate slows dramatically.   Take a look at a couple of the tag returns that I got from last year, demonstrating just how slow those big fish grow once they reach adulthood:

Measured in fork length:
Sept. 24, 2005 I tagged a 39 inch red drum on Gumthicket Shoal.
Almost 8 years later, on Sept. 7, 2013, I recaptured and retagged the same fish at the mouth of the Neuse River, it had grown a whopping 1 1/2 inches in 8 years and was then 40 1/2 inches.

On Aug. 23, 2012 I tagged a 45 1/2 inch red drum on Gumthicket Shoal, recapturing and retagging that same fish a little over a year later on Sept. 20, 2013 at the mouth of the Neuse River.  It showed no measurable growth in the one year that had lapsed.