You can be a part of a major, ground-breaking scientific research project in Saskatchewan. All you have to do is go fishing.
Biologists have been researching fish populations in our area for a long time now, but this year there are some exciting new developments that you can help out with. Thanks to technological developments tracking fish has become a lot easier and is helping scientists to get more data.
Chris Somers is an assistant professor of biology at the University of Regina and explained the project.
"We're doing two things there. One is, what's called 'passive tagging' of fish, where we're putting a T-bar tag on the fishes back, and that has an ID number and some contact information that, if anglers catch that fish, they can call it in and let us know that they caught it. Probably the more exciting aspect of the work is what we call 'active tagging' where we're putting a transmitter on fish, and let them basically do what they do as fish and we try to learn how they behave and where they spend their time."
Somers said they have a remote receiver array out in the lake where they listen for the radio transmitters on the fish 24 hours a day. They will be able to check that data whenever they want. The passive tags will require the support of local anglers.
"We have tagged over 500 fish so far in that lake with the T-Bar (passive) tag. Those are the ones that anglers are probably going to be more likely to encounter. The information they gather by doing that is very valuable to us. We're very keen on anglers reporting that and where they caught the fish."
He also said they want to know what kind of shape the fish was in when it was caught.
But don't worry, this research project will not interfere with your shore lunch. Somers says that if you catch a fish with one of the tags, you can do whatever you want with the fish. The just want to get data about the fish, including its fate.