The Triton

News

Anglers, be aware – tagged cobia in Florida waters

Posted on by in
ADVERTISEMENT

A cobia tagging project is underway along Florida’s east coast. Scientists with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute are tagging cobia in order to track movement of the fish to learn more about the migration of the Gulf and Atlantic stocks.

Researchers are using conventional dart tags and implanted acoustic transmitters to track mature fish. An array of acoustic receivers along the coast can detect the individual fish when they swim nearby. The movement patterns will provide more information to management to make informed decisions on the stocks and to provide a geographical location of the biological stock boundary. In addition, scientists are collecting genetic samples from tagged fish.

A total of 150 transmitters (50 each in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina) will be used for the one-year study.

“The transmitters, however, will last for up to four years allowing researchers to continue collecting information after the initial report is complete,” said Jim Whittington, FWRI Assistant Research Scientist.

The research will employ charter boat captains and recreational fishermen to assist with cobia capture, acoustic tag implantation and genetic sample collection. Researchers from NASA/Kennedy Space Center Ecological Program, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources are assisting in the project.

In addition to the acoustic transmitter, fish are tagged with two conventional dart tags near the dorsal fin and measured before being released. This method of tag implementation has been used successfully for many species of fish, including common snook.

In addition to the acoustic transmitter, fish are tagged with two conventional dart tags near the dorsal fin and measured before being released. This method of tag implementation has been used successfully for many species of fish, including common snook.

Cobia is a popular saltwater recreational fishery in the southeastern United States due to its ease of access, brute fighting strength and excellent culinary qualities. Although it is not illegal, scientists discourage the harvest of tagged cobia. If you catch a tagged cobia (two plastic tags should be visible on the back of the fish, one on each side) record the tag number, fork length, date and general location of the catch. Release the fish in good condition, and report it by calling 888-824-7472. If you accidentally harvest a tagged cobia, report all of the information above and return both the internal acoustic tag and plastic dart tag to:

Beau Yeiser and JJ Brodbeck, biologists with our Fisheries-Independent Monitoring (FIM) Program, hold a tagged cobia caught offshore of Stuart, FL. Our fisheries staff in Tequesta are monitoring the movements of adult cobia in offshore waters using acoustic receiver technology. Tracking the movements of cobia (Rachycentron canadum) will allows researchers to determine migration patterns and the geographical location of the biological Atlantic and Gulf stock boundary.

Beau Yeiser and JJ Brodbeck, biologists with our Fisheries-Independent Monitoring (FIM) Program, hold a tagged cobia caught offshore of Stuart, FL. Our fisheries staff in Tequesta are monitoring the movements of adult cobia in offshore waters using acoustic receiver technology. Tracking the movements of cobia (Rachycentron canadum) will allows researchers to determine migration patterns and the geographical location of the biological Atlantic and Gulf stock boundary.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Attn: Jim Whittington, Tequesta Field Laboratory 19100 SE Federal Highway, Tequesta, FL 33469.

Anglers can also assist by collecting fin clips from cobia caught on the east coast of Florida. For more information on what to do if you catch a tagged fish in Florida waters, visit MyFWC.com/research, click on “Saltwater” then “Angler Tag Return.” For information on cobia regulations visit  MyFWC.com/fishing, click on “Saltwater Fishing” “Recreational Regulations” and “Cobia.”

The receiver can hear a tag up to a half-kilometer away. When a tagged fish swims in proximity to a receiver, the unique code, date and time are recorded on the receiver. Scientists download data from the receivers every few months and discover which tagged fish have been in the area.

The receiver can hear a tag up to a half-kilometer away. When a tagged fish swims in proximity to a receiver, the unique code, date and time are recorded on the receiver. Scientists download data from the receivers every few months and discover which tagged fish have been in the area.

The acoustic tag transmits a unique code every 120 seconds that can only be detected by an underwater piece of equipment called a receiver.

The acoustic tag transmits a unique code every 120 seconds that can only be detected by an underwater piece of equipment called a receiver.

About Dorie Cox

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton.

View all posts by Dorie Cox →

Related Articles

Go sailing, trust your captain to enjoy yachting

We spend a lot of time in our monthly captains luncheons talking about things that impact a captain’s job and career. Most of those conversations over the past 10 years have looked at outside …

Babb Rawlings joins Northrop & Johnson

Babb Rawlings joins Northrop & Johnson

Northrop & Johnson has hired Babb Rawlings as a broker in its Fort Lauderdale office.  Rawlings spent his childhood in southern Virginia, boating and fishing along the Chesapeake Bay and …

Tiny quinoa packs a powerful protein

A grain-like food gaining ground on plates and palates is quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah). Mildly nutty in flavor, quinoa, like rice, has the delicious ability to soak up and compliment the flavors of …

Culinary Waves: Not much to beef about when it comes to cooking tenderloin

Culinary Waves: Not much to beef about when it comes to cooking tenderloin

Culinary Waves: by Chef Mary Beth Lawton Johnson In a yachting career that has spanned decades on board various private and charter yachts, I have cooked my fair share of beef. But there is one …

Crew remember Deckhand Lewis Burke

Crew remember Deckhand Lewis Burke

By Dorie Cox British Deckhand Lewis Raymond Burke, known to many of his friends as Burko, died on June 1. His family has declined to disclose details of his death. He was 26. Several fellow …

Bradford Marine hires Copeland

Bradford Marine Ft. Lauderdale announced the addition of A.D. Copeland as a project manager. Copeland has an extensive career in the yachting industry, beginning as a deckhand on M/Y Limitless, the …

Comments