Report a Tagged Fish

tagged shark by the Auburn University Marine Fish Lab

Reporting a tagged red snapper, gray triggerfish, or shark


Tag Examples & Location

In recent years 2008 to 2017, Auburn University Marine Fish Lab (Fairhope, AL) has been tagging red snapper and gray triggerfish with blue external tags, and some shark species with orange external tags in the Gulf of Mexico.  In earlier years 1990 to 2008 we tagged red snapper with yellow or white tags.  These older yellow and white tags would be rare, but have been returned with just the wire sticking out.  These older tagged red snapper are very important and we still can get the fish information from internal tags, thus please keep you eye out for a single wire sticking out of larger red snapper. All tags display Auburn University, 251-990-4858, and a 4-digit tag number written on the side of them.  Most of the fish tagged in this study are tagged in the belly.  Many of these fish also have internal tags located within the gut cavity.

 Triggerfish tag locations


Reward Information

We offer a $150 reward for the return of an Auburn University fish tag, but need the fish carcass, internal and external tags.  To receive the reward, you may keep the fillets but we still need the carcass.  Please attempt to keep the external tag attached to the fish.  Not all of the tagged fish have an internal tag, but the reward is still $150 for carcass and external tag.

Please call the Auburn University Marine Fish Lab in Fairhope, AL (251-990-4858) and we will send someone to pickup the fish carcass and tag.

Please return the fish carcass with the tag.  We do not give out rewards for red snapper that are tagged in the back with yellow tags, or for fish caught out of season. We will give out rewards for fish caught by commercial fishers that have quotas anytime of year.


What should you do if you recapture an Auburn University tagged marine fish?

1. Please keep the fish carcass, external and internal tags

2. Contact Auburn University Marine Fish Lab, Fairhope, AL: phone (251- 990–4858) so we can schedule a pick up of the fish carcass and tags.

3. Provide AU with as much information as possible about the captured fish, such as when, private boat, charter boat or commercial vessel, and if possible locations.  We understand fishers not wanting to reveal their private hot spots and not giving up the exact location will not affect your reward. We are most interested in the residency, growth rates and movements of the tagged fish.

4. Once AU staff have confirmed that you have recaptured one of our fish, fill out the AU vendor form (required to receive the reward).  Located at: https://secure.auburnuniversity.net/system/register.mv?type=Vendor&domain=vendor.  Your reward will be mailed to the address that you provide within 4 to 8 weeks, if you have not received your reward please call the Auburn University Marine Fish lab.


Did you catch an AU tagged fish in freshwater or a red snapper with a yellow tag in the back?

Our research lab presently only tags marine fish with internal anchor tags in the belly. If your yellow fish tag is located in the back, click the link below that applies for your tagged fish:

AU Tagged Fish Caught in the Mobile Delta

AU Tagged Fish Caught in a Northern AL Lake