Tagging of fish is an important method in fisheries research. Tagging studies provide information on e.g. migration, growth, and mortality of fish as well as the cost-effectiveness of fish stocking.  This information is used among others when drafting new fish stocking plans or fishery plans. The Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE) handles all tag returns from fish tagging studies conducted in Finland. During the year 2020 a total of 1116 fish tags were returned.

As a research method, tagging studies on fish are completely dependent on the returning of found tags. For fisheries research and the management of fish populations it is important that all found tags are returned and that the related information about the catch is reported as thoroughly as possible.

How to report catching a tagged fish

When you return a fish tag it is important to report at least the date of catch and catch location. Other important data includes the length and weight of the fish, and what type of fishing gear the fish was caught with. If the tagged fish is released, do not remove the tag. Instead you can take a photo of the tag number or write it down before releasing the fish. This way more data on the same fish may be gathered.

All Finnish residents who return a fish tag will be sent a small reward (5 € ) and a letter with release data of the fish. Residents of other countries who return a Finnish fish tag will be sent a small fishing-related reward in the mail together with the release data, unless other agreements are in place.

Fish tags can be returned without postage within Finland to the following address:

LUKE
Merki
5005751
00003 VASTAUSLÄHETYS

Also fish scale samples can be sent to the same address. Instructions for how to collect fish scale samples (in Finnish).

You can also return a fish tag electronically using our online form (in Finnish or Swedish), or by e-mailing kalamerkit@luke.fi. Please report the tag number, date of catch, place of catch, fishing gear used, length and weight of fish, whether the fish was released with tag, and any other related information as well as the name and address of the person who found the tag.

If you report a fish tag electronically, you do not need to send in the tag by mail.

Return a fish tag – take part in the lottery

A lottery with fishing-related prizes is arranged by LUKE amongst Finnish residents who return a fish tag during the year 2021. The lottery draw takes place in early February 2022. All Finnish residents who return a fish tag together with accompanying catch data either by mail or electronically during the year 2021 will automatically partake in the lottery. The fish may have been caught at any time. Each returned tag equals one lottery ticket. The winners are notified personally.

Sales of fish tags

LUKE sells external fish tags. On offer are traditional Carlin-tags, two sizes of t-bar anchor tags as well as dart tags. Also various kinds of tag applicators and tagging tools are available. See our Finnish website for a price list or email kalamerkit@luke.fi for more information.

Fill in the tagging protocols available on our Finnish website when tagging fish. The tagging protocols are to be returned to LUKE’s fish tagging office as soon as the tagging has been completed. Electronic or scanned documents are returned to kalamerkit@luke.fi. Paper documents can be sent without postage to address:

LUKE
Merki
5005751
00003 VASTAUSLÄHETYS

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