Atlantic Halibut Research Tags and Rewards

DMR would like to remind halibut harvesters about several types of research tags that may be encountered during the upcoming season. The image below shows the location of the electronic tags for which rewards of up to $500 are offered. For any tags captured, please record the date, location (lat/lon or TDs), halibut length and sex (if known). Tag information should still be reported if a tagged fish is rereleased

  • Orange Wire Tag on Cheek - tagged by DMR staff. There is a second electronic data storage tag in the gut cavity. DMR offers a reward of $300 for the return of the electronic tag along with required information listed above, in addition to information on the captured fish. The electronic tag records depth and temperature and is used to estimate the path of the halibut from release to recapture. Recaptured data storage tags should be returned to: Maine DMR Halibut, PO Box 8, W. Boothbay Harbor, ME 04575. Note: DMR has received several of these tags back after they were found in the guts of halibut that were missing the orange cheek tag; harvesters are advised to keep an eye out for these tags while gutting.
  • Yellow Wire Tag on Cheek - tagged by DMR staff and volunteer harvesters. There is no electronic tag associated with yellow cheek tags. Harvesters capturing yellow wire tagged halibut can return the tag with fish information along with their harvester logbook. Rewards for yellow tag returns include fish information, a halibut coffee mug, and/or halibut sticker.
  • Non-DMR Tags - the University of Massachusetts (SMAST) has also electronically tagged halibut and offers a $500 reward for return of these tags. Recaptured tags should be returned to: Ali Frey, SMAST-UMAA Dartmouth, 836 South Rodney French Blvd., New Bedford, MA 02744.

For questions about the halibut research tags or if you would like to participate in voluntary halibut tagging during the upcoming season, please contact Bill DeVoe at

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