Lance Burgos is a Hobie Fishing Team angler from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He’s been participating in the Tag Louisiana program since 2013 and recently deployed his 100th tag. The TAG Louisiana program employs volunteer anglers to place plastic numbered tags into popular gamefish. If the fish is recaptured, the lucky angler calls a phone number on the tag and reports the location and size of his catch. Fisheries managers use data from fish tagging to learn about migration patterns and life cycles of the fish. The program covers a variety of species, but Burgos focuses on speckled trout. So, he saved his last tag for a special catch. We asked Burgos five questions about hitting the century mark.
Louisiana Angler Sets Tagging Milestone with Trophy Trout
KA: What is your background in fishing?
LB: I grew up in South Louisiana where I learned fishing at an early age. I have been competing in local and regional tournaments since 2012 and on the Hobie Fishing Team and Backpacker Baton Rouge team since 2016.
KA: How did you get started with the Louisiana tagging program?
LB: I read an article about the program in Louisiana Sportsman Magazine and realized anglers are the biggest volunteer resource for conservation. I wanted to do my part and contribute to the data. I also hoped to learn how the fish move and grow. I was especially interested in tagging my favorite species, speckled trout. When I caught my personal-best, seven-pound trout in 2015, I wanted to do more to conserve these beautiful fish. Big trout are very rare, and this program allows me to help scientists manage the species.
KA: How long did it take to tag 100 fish?
LB: I received my first tagging kit in 2013 and I tagged my hundredth fish on December 2, 2021.
KA: What was the biggest challenge?
LB: When I am scouting for a tournament or fishing a competition, I occasionally forget to tag fish. I’ve even lost a few tags due to errors.
KA: What were some highlights?
LB: Having three fish recaptured and the tag information reported. Surprisingly, the fish were recaptured in the same general area about a year after I tagged them. Now I know where and when the fish will return to the area.
I’ve enjoyed sharing the program with my sons, Olsen and Abel. Volunteering to tag fish sets a good example for the next generation.
The biggest highlight was saving my last tag for a big trout. In December, I caught a beautiful 22-inch trout worthy of my milestone tag. I got interested in the program when I caught my personal best trout, and I thought it was significant to deploy my hundredth tag in another trophy fish. I wonder how big the trout will be when the next angler catches it.
Helping with fisheries research, one trout at a time. | Feature photo: Courtesy Lance Burgos