Tag Recovery and Reward

Tag Reward

There is a reward offered for every IPHC tag returned! Pacific halibut fishery regulations in Canada and the USA allow Pacific halibut of ANY size bearing an IPHC tag to be landed, whether or not the fisher holds Pacific halibut quota, and regardless of fishing gear or season. Explanations of the goals and objectives of these tagging efforts can be found at our website

Contact us at tag@iphc.int

Electronic archival tags

Archival tag of the type deployed in 2018.


Pop-up archival transmitting tags

  • Attached near the dorsal fin by a metal dart and leader.
  • Rewards: $500 for tag body*, $50 for the leader and metal dart tag only, $10 or tag hat for leader only.
    *Note that these tags may be found attached to a halibut, free floating, or washed ashore.
PAT tag attached to dart and leader.

Traditional wire tags

  • Threaded through the operculum (cheek area) on the dark side of the body.
  • The usual reward is $10 cash or an IPHC tag hat for each tag returned.
  • Some wire tags are worth $100 or $200 and these have the reward printed on the tag.
  • Tags printed with the text "Please Photograph Tail" are worth $20 or two hats if a photo is provided of the white side of the tail of the tagged fish, which are part of a tail pattern study.
Sampler applying a wire tag to a Pacific halibut (photo by Kaitlin Johnson).

"Dummy" archival tags

  • Fish has either an internal or external dummy archival tag.
  • Internal "gut" tags have the tag body inside the abdominal cavity with only a stalk protruding outside the fish.
  • Externally mounted tags are attached near the dorsal fin or on the operculum.
  • Fish with internal dummy tags and external dummy tags attached to the dorsal also have pink wire cheek tag.
  • $100 reward for the return of the dummy archival tag.
  • $100 reward for the return of the pink wire tag (reward printed on tag).

Spaghetti tags

  • Plastic spaghetti tags were used in the voluntary sport charter-boat tagging program from the 1990s. Tags were printed with the IPHC’s contact information and were attached to either a plastic or stainless steel dart and inserted either in the back of the fish (plastic darts) or the cheek on the dark side (stainless steel dart). Recoveries of this tag type are not very common since the last release occurred in 2003 and the most recent recovery was in 2013. The reward for a sport charter tag is $10 or an IPHC tag reward hat.