Fish Identification Requirements

Fish Identification Requirements

The identification of a fish must be fully documented where there is a possibility of its confusion with any other (and particularly larger) species. For this reason, the Committee in respect of some species insists on scales from the fish with, close up photographs or the actual body as actual proof of identification before it will consider claims. To find out more information about Indentification Requirements, Irish Record Weight and Specimen weight for Freshwater and Marine Speices, click on the links below

Indentification Requriements Overview
Indentification Requriements for Record Fish
Identification Requirements using Genetic Fingerprinting – Shad and Smooth-Hound
Freshwater Species, Irish Record weight, Specimen Weight and the Identification Requirements
Marine Species, Irish Record weight, Specimen Weight and the Identification Requirements

 

Indentification Requriements Overview

Identification requirements differ from species to species, with some species requiring the actual body for identificiation whereas other species, fish scales are sufficient. It is important that anglers provide the ISFC with the correct supporting documentation to ensure claims are ratified. The table below outlines different identification requirement (fish scales, actual body, photographs) for the the different species along with a description of Indentification features to be documented. To find out more information about a specific specimen and their identification requirements, please go to Irish Record weight, Specimen Weight and Identification Requirements

Identification Requirement
Description of Identification features to be documented

Fish Scales

Fish Scales must be submitted in respect of claims for the following species

SALMON, SEA TROUT, BROWN TROUT (including SLOB TROUT) RUDD, ROACH, and their hybrids, DACE and SHAD.

Any brown trout taken in tidal waters, i.e., in the sea or in an estuary below the freshwater boundary as defined for that river will be regarded for claim purposes as a slob trout. About 10 scales gently removed from one shoulder of the fish should be sent with each salmonid claim, whereas 3 scales are required from each cyprinid.

The Actual Body

The Actual Body must be forwarded for identification in the case of the following species

ANGLER FISH, BRILL, DAB, GARFISH (head and gills only), LESSER SPOTTED DOGFISH, FLOUNDER, GREY & RED GURNARDS, HERRING, MEGRIM, MACKEREL, GREY MULLET, GOLDEN GREY MULLET and RED MULLET, RAYS BREAM, THREE BEARDED ROCKLING, SCAD, TORSK, CUCKOO WRASSE and BLACK BREAM.

NB – Claims may be ratified where a photograph is of sufficient quality to provide conclusive evidence (i.e. key identification features clearly visible) to identify a fish, to the satisfaction of the Committee.

Photographs

CLEAR, SHARP, CLOSE-UP PHOTOGRAPHS, should support each claim. The entire fish on its side with the dorsal and anal fins fully splayed, and close up photographs of the head (side on) are requried for each fish claimed. Features should be easily seen, and not fore-shortened or obscured by shadows or bystanders. Photographs must be provided in the case of the following

ALL CYPRINIDS, TOPE, SHARKS, SMOOTH-HOUND, SKATE, RAYS, BLUEMOUTH, MONKFISH, POLLACK, BALLAN WRASSE, TRIGGERFISH, COALFISH, ALBACORE, TUB GURNARD (pectoral fins of gurnard must be fully expanded), GILTHEAD BREAM (whole body and head shot showing mouth and eyes) and BLACKMOUTHED DOGFISH.

Features to photograph differ for each fish species. To find out more information about features to photograph for a specific species, please go to Photographing Fish

SPECIAL NOTE – Stakes and Rays: In the case of skates and rays, photographs of both back and belly surfaces should be provided and particulars of the coloration given (with particular reference to the presence of dark or grey spots, or streaks or patches on the belly side).
SPECIAL NOTE – Mako Sharks: Detailed photographs of the teeth should be furnished in the case of Mako Sharks. In addition, there should be a clearclose-up photograph showing the jaws and teeth exposed.

Identification Requirements for Record Fish

If you want to make a Record Fish Claim, the ISFC states that the claim must be supported by

  • A series of clear photographs showing relevant features for positive identification and;
  • A clear indication of fish length (perferably a ruler/fish measurement mat). Records will be weight based only.

Identification Requirements using Genetic Fingerprinting – Shad and Smooth-Hound

The success of ongoing collaborations between the ISFC, Inland Fisheries Ireland and the School of Biology and Environmental Science at University College Dublin on shad (Alosa spp.) and smooth-hound (Mustelas spp.) meant these species can now be identified by genetic fingerprinting. This eliminates the requirement for a body to be presented for both groups of fish. An extensive study of smooth-hound carried out by Dr. Edward Farrell, formerly UCD, found no evidence of M. mustelas (Common smooth-hound) in Irish waters despite extensive sampling. Therefore ISFC no longer require a tissue sample for genetic analysis to support a claim for a smooth-hound.
Scale storage and photographic requirements are described below. As genetic analysis of scales requires considerable time to process samples anglers are requested to submit scale samples as soon as is feasible and before 15th October.

SpeciesSample requiredStorageAdditional information
Roach, Rudd and their hybrids3 scalesIn an envelope with fish details and dateGood quality photographs required
Shad species3 scalesIn an envelope with fish details and dateEnsure fish is retained in water as much as is feasible
Notes: As all fish can be returned alive please handle carefully. Allow envelope to dry out to preserve the sample. Do not store scales or tissue in plastic as sample will degrade

Irish Record Weight, Specimen Weight and Identification Requirements

Below is a list of Specimen fish, Indentification Requirements, Irish Record Weight and Specimen weight for both Freshwater and Marine Speices (last revised 2013). Please note that where species indentification states a body is requried, high quality photographs may suffice (see Indentification Requirements Overview)

Freshwater Species, Irish Record weight, Specimen Weight and the Identification Requirements

SpeciesIrish Record WeightSpecimen WeightLength based SpecimenSpecies Identification reuirements
Bream (Abramis brama)6.07 kg3.402 kg7.5 lbs
Carp (Cyprinus carpio)14.24 kg5.9 kg13 lbs
Dace (Leuciscus leucisus)1 lb2 ozs0.3 kg0.66 lbsScales and Photos
Eel (Anguilla anguilla)6 lbs15 ozssuspended from listings
Gudgeon (Gobio gobio)0.035 kg0.0772≥14cm Fork LengthPhoto on measuring mat
Perch (Perca fluviatilis)5 lbs8 ozs1.2 kg2.646 lbs
Pike (Esox lucius) (Lake)42 lbs12 ozs13.608 kg30 lbs≥115cm Fork Length
Pike (Esox lucius) (River)42 lbs9.072 kg20 lbs≥100cm Fork Length
Roach (Rutilus rutilus)1.425 kg0.907 kg2 lbsScales* and Photos
Roach/Bream Hybrid7 lbs1.6 kg3.528 lbsScales* and Photos
Roach/Rudd Hybrid2.1 kg0.9 kg1.98 lbsScales* and Photos
Rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus)--0.9 kg1.98 lbsScales* and Photos
Rudd/Bream Hybrid7 lbs10 ozs1.2 kg2.64 lbsScales* and Photos
Tench (Tinca tinca)8.15 lbs2.722 kg6 lbs≥52cm Fork Length
Salmon (Salmo salar)57 lbs9.072 kg20 lbs≥90cm Fork LengthScales
Brown Trout (Salmo trutta) (Lake)26 lbs2 ozs4.536 kg10 lbs≥75cm Fork LengthScales
Brown Trout (Salmo trutta) (River)20 lbs2.268 kg5 lbs≥57cm Fork LengthScales
Sea Trout (Salmo trutta)16 lbs6 ozs2.722 kg6 lbs≥64cm Fork LengthScales
Slob Trout (Salmo trutta)--4.536 kg10 lbsScales

* for genetic profiling

Marine Species, Irish Record weight, Specimen Weight and the Identification Requirements

SpeciesIrish Record WeightSpecimen WeightLength Based SpecimenSpecies Identification Requirements
Angel Shark (aka Monkfish) (Squatina squatina)73 lbsNo Specimen Weight≥125cm Total LengthPhoto on measuring mat
Angler Fish (Lophius piscatorius)42.985 kg8.0 kg17.64 lbsPhotos or Body
Bass (Dicentrarchus labrax)17 lbs13 ozs4.536 kg10 lbs≥75cm Total Length
Black Sole (Solea solea)6.32 lbs0.6 kg1.32 lbs
Black Bream (Spondyliosoma cantharus)1.46 kg-0.79 kg1.75 lbs≥36cm Total LengthPhotos or Body
Bluemouth (Helicolenus dactylopterus)1.32 kg0.9 kg1.9845 lbs≥38cm Total LengthPhotos
Brill (Scophthalmus rhombus)9 lbs8 ozs1.6kg3.53 lbsPhotos or Body
Coalfish (Pollachius virens)15.1 kg6.0 kg13.23 lbs≥86cm Total LengthPhotos
Cod (Gadus morhua)42 lbs7.0 kg15.43 lbs≥88cm Total Length
Conger Eel (Conger conger)72 lbs18.144 kg40 lbs≥165cm Total Length
Dab (Limanda limanda)2 lbs5.5 ozs0.6 kg1.32 lbs≥38cm Total LengthPhotos or Body
Dogfish - Blackmouthed (Galeus melastomus)1.33 kg1.0 kg2.205 lbs≥67cm Total LengthPhoto on measuring mat
Dogfish - Lesser Spotted (Scyliorhinus caniculus)4 lbs4 ozs1.474 kg3.25 lbsPhoto on measuring mat
Dogfish - Greater Spotted (Scyliorhinus stellaris)23 lbs13 ozs7.257 kg16 lbs≥115cm Total LengthPhoto on measuring mat
Dogfish - Spur (Squalus acanthias)11.06 kg5.443 kg12 lbs≥105cm Total LengthPhoto on measuring mat
Flounder (Platichthys flesus)4.91 lbs1.1 kg2.4255 lbs≥45cm Total LengthPhotos or Body
Garfish (Belone belone)1.729 lbs1.0 kg2.205 lbs≥89cm Total LengthHead and gills
Garfish (Belone svetovidovi)1.11 lbs0.3 kg0.875 lbsHead and gills
Gilthead Bream (Sparus aurata)3.505 kg1.4 kg3.08 lbs≥42cm Total LengthPhoto (whole body, head shot showing mouth & eyes)
Gurnard - Gray (Eutrigla gurnardus)3 lbs1 ozs0.68 kg1.5 lbsPhotos or Body
Gurnard - Red (Aspitrigla cuculus)3 lbs9.5 ozs0.907 kg2 lbsPhotos or Body
Gurnard - Tub (Trigla lucerna)12 lbs3.5 ozs2.0 kg4.41 lbsPhoto (pectoral fins must be fully expanded
Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglifinus)5.39 kg2.5 kg5.51 lbs≥63cm Total Length
Hake (Merluccius merluccius)25 lbs5.5 ozs2.2 kg4.85 lbs≥68cm Total Length
Halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus)156 lbs12 kg26.46 lbs
Herring (Clupea harengus)0.48 kg0.34 kg0.75 lbsPhotos or Body
John Dory (Zeus faber)7 lbs8 ozs1.814 kg4 lbs
Ling (Molva molva)55 lbs11.34 kg25 lbs≥125cm Total Length
Mackerel (Scomber scombrus)4 lbs2 ozs1.0 kg2.5 lbsPhotos or Body
Megrim (Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis)1.85 kg0.794 kg1.75 lbs≥49cm Total LengthPhotos or Body
Mullet - Gray, thick lipped (Chelon labrosus)9.1 lbs2.268 kg5 lbsPhotos or Body
Mullet - Golden Gray (Liza aurata)1.52 kg0.68 kg1.5 lbsPhotos or Body
Mullet - Thin Lipped (Liza ramada) 2.95 kg1.5 kg3.31 lbsPhotos or Body
Mullet - Red (Mullus surmuletus)0.82 kg0.4 kg1.0 lbsPhotos or Body
Plaice (Pleuronectes platessa)8.23 lbs1.2 kg2.65 lbs≥48cm Total Length
Pollack (Pollachius pollachius)19 lbs3 ozs5.0 kg11.02 lbs≥80cm Total LengthPhotos
Pouting (Trisopterus luscus)4 lbs13.5 ozs1.361 kg3 lbs
Ray - Blonde (Raja brachyura)37 lbs11.34 kg25 lbs≥100cm Total LengthPhoto on measuring mat
Ray - Cuckoo (Raja naevus)5 lbs11 ozs1.6 kg4.0 lbs≥63cm Total LengthPhoto on measuring mat
Ray - Electric (Torpedo nobiliana)40 kg9.072 kg20 lbsPhoto on measuring mat
Ray - Homelyn (Raja montagui)8.28 lbs2.268 kg5 lbs≥65cm Total LengthPhoto on measuring mat
Ray - Painted (Raja microocellata)17.21 lbs4.536 kg10 lbs≥80cm Total LengthPhoto on measuring mat
Ray - Sting (Dasyatis pastinaca)33.2 kg13.0 kg30 lbs≥90cm Total LengthPhoto on measuring mat
Ray - Thornback (Raja clavata)37 lbs7.0 kg17.64 lbs≥100cm Total LengthPhoto on measuring mat
Ray - Undulate (Raja undulata)18 lbsNo specimen weight≥85cm Total LengthPhoto on measuring mat
Ray's Bream (Brama brama)6 lbs4.25 ozs2.0 kg4.41 lbsPhotos or Body
Red Sea Bream (Pagellus bogaraveo)9 lbs6 ozs1.0 kg4.0 lbs
Rockling – Shore (Gaidropsarus mediterraneus)†≥30cm Total Length†Photo on measuring mat
Rockling, Three Bearded (Gaidropsarus vulgaris)3 lbs1 oz0.794 kg1.75 lbsPhotos or Body
Scad (Trachurus trachurus)1.97 lbs0.680 kg1.5 lbs≥44cm Total LengthPhotos or Body
Shad – Allis (Alosa alosa)- -1.814 kg4 lbsScales
Shad - Twaite (Alosa fallax)1.54 kg1.2 kg2.65 lbs≥48cm Total LengthScales
Shark - Blue (Prionace glauca)206 lbs45.359 kg100 lbs≥185cm Fork LengthPhoto on measuring mat
Shark - Mako (Isurus oxyrinchus)- - 90.718 kg200 lbsPhoto on measuring mat
Shark - Porbeagle (Lamna nasus)365 lbsNo Specimen weight≥180cm Fork LengthPhoto on measuring mat
Shark - Six-Gilled (Hexanchus griseus)480 kg45.359 kg100 lbsPhoto on measuring mat
Shark – Thresher (Alopias vulpinus)- -54.431 kg120 lbsPhoto on measuring mat
Short Spined Sea Scorpion (Myoxocephalus scorpius)†0.26.573≥25cm Total Length†
Skate - Common (Raja batis)221 lbsNo Specimen Weight≥180cm Total LengthPhoto on measuring mat
Skate – Long Nosed (Raja oxyrinchus)--36.287 kg80 lbsPhoto on measuring mat
Skate - White (Raja alba)165 lbsNo Specimen Weight≥180cm Total LengthPhoto on measuring mat
Smooth-Hound (Mustelas asterias)11.27 kg4.5 kg9.94 lbs≥103cm Total LengthPhoto on measuring mat
Stone Basse (Polyprion americanus)11.72 lbs3.628 kg8 lbs
Tope (Galeorhinus galeus)34.02 kg8 ozs18.144 kg40 lbs≥155cm Total Length PPhoto on measuring mat
Torsk (Brosme brosme)4.858 kg2.5 kg5.51 lbsPhotos or Body
Trigger Fish (Balistes carolinensis)2.54 kg1.474 kg3.25 lbsPhoto
Tuna - Albacore (Thunnus alalunga)29.96 kg12 kg26.46 lbsPhoto
Tuna - Bluefin (Thunnus thynnus)440 kgsuspended from listings
Turbot (Scophthalmus maximus)34 lbs5 kg11.02 lbs
Whiting (Merlangius merlangus)4 lbs14.5 ozs1.361 kg3 lbs
Wrasse Ballan (Labrus bergylta)4.3 kg2.154 kg4.75 lbs≥48cm Total LengthPhoto
Wrasse – Corkwing (Symphodus melops)†0.0150.033≥20cm Total Length†Photo
Wrasse Cuckoo (Labrus mixtus)2 lbs7 ozs0.567 kg1.25 lbs≥35cm Total LengthPhoto

N.B. Where species identification states body required, high quality photographs (see Rule 4) may suffice.
† Claims are invited for these species (Corkwing Wrasse, Shore Rockling & Short Spined Sea Scorpion) in order to set specimen thresholds