2nd Annual Tagging Challenge


Bonefish and Tarpon Trust,  Belize River Lodge and Frontiers Travel are hosting our second annual Belize River Lodge Bonefish and Permit Tagging Challenge during the week of May 18 to 25, 2013.  Our first challenge was a great success as we managed to spaghetti tag quite a few bonefish and dna sample a number of tarpon while anglers enjoyed the variety of species BRL offers and still had fun in challenging windy and rainy weather.  By tagging, anglers are helping us with an ongoing study of Bonefish, Permit and Tarpon to see migration patterns and also follow their growth.  To add to a successful fishing week, Belize River Lodge and Frontiers also made a monetary donation to BTT for future studies.

Belize River Lodge has been involved with BTT since 2007, understanding the need for more knowledge of the species (Bonefish, Tarpon & Permit) that provide so much fun and focus.   BTT studies have already found that Belize’s bonefish are the same species found in Florida and the Bahamas, however, while a 16″ bonefish in Florida is about 2 to 3 years old, the same 16″ bonefish in Belize is about 6 to 7 years old.  In 2011, Mick landed a 22″ Bonefish, about 7 lbs while fishing at BRL.  This Belizean 22″ bonefish is approximately 16 years old, while a 22″ fish in Florida is a 6 to 8 year old youngster.  Growth rates are drastically different in Belize and the question is why?

This is where we need your help to tag all Bonefish and Permit and dna swab all tarpon.  After tagging the fish, we hope for a large recapture rate, as this will provide the answer to the questions we have today. . . .
How large of an area do bonefish use?   What is the size of the geographic area that needs protection to ensure a healthy population?   What size geographical area should be used for management?  To what extent do different populations mix (such as Belize City and Ambergris Cay)?  If bonefish or any fish species habitats are damaged, how far-reaching will be the impact?

Quoting Dr. Aaron Adams of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust “This information is essential as Belize develops a coastal and fishery management plan, which will include habitat protections, coastal development, etc.  Tagging studies provide this type of information.   The key is to get this information now, before the fishery is in real trouble, so we know what a healthy fishery is supposed to look like. If we wait until after the fishery has declined, we will only be measuring an unhealthy population.”

By hosting a “challenge” week, Belize River Lodge is hoping to focus on tagging as many bonefish and permit as possible with “spaghetti tags” and also DNA swab all tarpon of any size.  We need your help!  Please join the Challenge week of May 18 to 25th for fishing, fun and prizes and at no extra cost to you the angler.  Belize River Lodge’s regular rates apply and you receive Frontier’s professional services to help plan your trip.

The cost of the 7 night/6 days Lodge fishing package is US$3,668.00 per person, based on double occupancy.

BRL Fishing Package Includes:   Round trip airport transfers in Belize – meeting & checkout services, accommodations, air conditioning in rooms, daily housekeeping, all meals – including a box lunch, soda & drinking water, guided fishing,  skiff & fuel, Belize Taxes of 9% Hotel Tax & 12.5% GST tax. BRL Fishing Package Does Not Include:   Airfare to & from Belize, fishing equipment & tackle, Belize Fishing License (US$25.00 per week, per angler), alcoholic beverages, tips to guides and staff, Belize Departure Tax (approximately US$39.75 per person – included in ticket or paid at Airport).

While visiting, if you have any questions, BTT scientist, Michael Larkin, and BTT board member, Mick Kolassa,  will be on hand to discuss and teach tagging and fish handling techniques and to answer questions about BTT’s research and conservation efforts.  They will also conduct a presentation of recent scientific findings about our target species on one evening.  This will be a great opportunity to swap stories and advice and to have a chance for a one on one talk with a BTT scientist to really get into the “why” and “how” of bonefish, tarpon, and permit biology – and angling.  On the final evening of the week we will award prizes to the anglers who tagged the most bonefish, the largest bonefish, and the most and largest permit and the most and largest Tarpon.

In addition to participating in a scientific study, your 6 days of fishing at Belize River Lodge will include
*     A Welcome gifts for all participants.
*    BTT membership for any non-members
*    Workshops and presentations on bonefish, permit, and tarpon fishing and science.
*    Awards of hand carved wooden trophies for the most and biggest fish tagged of Bonefish, Permit and Tarpon.  Carving will be out of beautiful zericote wood and carved by a well-known local Belizean artist.
*    Prizes include Costa Del Mar sunglasses, a Winston (8 wt, 4 piece) rod and a Hardy (9 foot 10wt 4 piece) rod.

*    An opportunity to help advance our scientific understanding and knowledge through this event.
*    Funding for more Bonefish and TarponTrust work later, as both BRL and Frontiers are donating to BTT.  Belize River Lodge is donating $500.00 for every angler booked and Frontiers is also making a donation per angler.
*    A fantastic time in a wonderful setting, with little hassle to you – all you need to do is contact Denise Schreiber or Barbara Alden at Frontiers and they will do all the work.  Denise’s email address is dschreiber@frontierstravel.com,  Barbara’s is balden@frontierstravel.com or call Frontiers toll free at 1-800-245-1950.

The fishing opportunities at the Belize River Lodge are second to none – the Lodge was one of the hosts for the BTT television show “Buccaneers and Bones” and is one of the top two locations in the world for catching IGFA registered Inshore Grand Slams and Super Slams.

Learn more about Bonefish & Tarpon Trust here.

2nd Annual Bonefish & Permit Tagging Challenge Sponsors: