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When will I receive my Citation?

We are asked this question often during the year but questions increase once Citations start leaving the office. First, generally no Citations are processed until the end of the year. The main reason being--anglers only receive one Citation plaque per species regardless of how many Citation fish they register throughout the year. What we do is track an anglers heaviest entry for a species and the plaque acknowledges their heaviest catch of the year. We likewise track the number of releases and this number will also be included on the Citation plaque. Due to space limitations, we cannot include release lengths. There are several factors that determine which species group is processed first. There is a considerable time factor in error-checking and proofing for each species group but processing by species group is both more time efficient and accurate. Once the final check is made, the actual Citation sheet is printed. For some species, like tarpon, we are able to begin as early as November, since it is safe to assume no more tarpon entries will occur for the year. Our system is able to interface, or I should say, UPS is able to interface with our system to speed the mail out portion of the Citation process. But in order to do so, they must send their person here to properly format and set-up the loading of the Citation addresses. We need to have a certain minimum number of Citations ready for uploading (these are species groups whose season is over and have been error checked and proofed) before we can expect UPS to commit the time necessary for their representative to be on site. This number is approximately 1,000, which equates to approximately two pallets of Citations, packed and ready for mail out. Another consideration is batch size. Once the UPS labels are printed, they are time sensitive, and need to be shipped the same day. A species group greater in size than 500 (such as striped bass, flounder, speckled trout, black and red drum in 2007) is split into a subgroup of no more than 500, which equals the absolute maximum staff, Ann Burnett and myself, could process (remove plaque from carton, insert Citation certificate, match mailing label to certificate, seal carton) in one day (assuming the phone does not ring and nothing else requires attention). Additionally, mail outs of over 250 Citations in one day generally require special notification to our UPS driver, to be certain enough space is available. For reference, the last species to be processed are large species groups, such as striped bass, speckled trout and flounder that could be caught as late as December 31. Having said all of this, the first groups of Citations mailed out for 2007 included amberjack, sheepshead and tarpon. Some Citations will be processed for mailing nearly every working day, until the final batch, which should occur by the end of March. I hope this is helpful and feel free to pass this on or contact this office.

Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament
Virginia Gamefish Tagging Program
Attn: Lewis Gillingham
2600 Washington Ave, 3rd Floor
Newport News, VA 23607
(757) 491 - 5160
(757) 247-8014 (fax)

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