On 3/6/2016, as Big Island angler Michael De Wilde unloaded his catch of bottom fish, his fish buyer noticed a yellow tag in one of the opakapaka. They scraped off the algae and Michael noted the tag number. Michael entered the information about the recovered fish on the online Tag It Recovery Form and we determined that his fish was originally tagged off Maui southside by Eddie Ebisui III, and had been at liberty for 1270 days. It had traveled 70 miles to the Big Island westside, and grew 8 inches to a fork length of 20.5 inches. Michael was rewarded with a PIFG Bottom Fish Recovery shirt and we were grateful for the recovery information.
Twenty days later Michael caught another tagged opakapaka! The second opakapaka had also been tagged by Eddie Ebisui III in the same general area a few days earlier than when he had tagged the first opakapaka and was recaptured by Michael in the same general Big Island westside area. The second fish had been at liberty for 1294 days, traveled 70 miles, and had grown 7.8 inches to a fork length of 19 inches. This seems to indicate that opakapaka travel large distances in schools of similar sized fish.
Here's the second opakapaka wearing the yellow tag.
And here's Michael holding a much larger opakapaka and wearing the limited edition Lawai'a Magazine t-shirt he received for his second tagged fish. He was given a PIFG Bottomfish Tagging t-shirt for his first recovered fish and continues to check his catch carefully for tags.