NEWPORT, Ore. - Oregon Sea Grant is asking crab fishermen to keep a watchful eye out for Dungeness crabs with tags on their legs - and to forward any tags they've collected to the program by Sept. 1.

The Oregon State University-based program has been working with the Oregon Wave Energy Trust and the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission on a study looking at the movement of Dungeness crabs on the Oregon coast. In October and November of 2009, scientists tagged 3,000 legal-sized male crabs and placed tags on their back right legs.

Dungeness crab fishermen from both the commercial and recreational fleets have been returning tags since that December. More than 800 tags have already been returned, and the researchers are hoping to wrap up the study. Rewards of $20 will be given for each tag returned before this Sept. 1. The project will also hold a drawing in early September for $1,000.

"If you have a tag, please return it as soon as possible to claim your reward," said Kaety Hildenbrand, Oregon Sea Grant Extension agent in Newport, who is helping coordinate the tag collection.

To participate in this study and claim the reward, remove the tag from the crab and write down the location, depth and date the crab was found; the tag number; your name, address and phone number; and include your signature.

Mail this information and the tag to Oregon Dungeness Crab Study; 29 S.E. 2nd St., Newport, OR 97365.

If you have questions, call 541-574-6537, ext. 18.

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Amanda Gladics, 541-207-4463