Last week, we kicked off our season at Andros South with a group of researchers working with Bonefish and Tarpon Trust.
For those of you unfamiliar with Bonefish Tarpon Trust (BTT), they’re a group based out of the Florida Keys committed to conserving and enhancing bonefish, tarpon, and permit fisheries all over the world. Each day, members of the group took to the flats with our guides in search of large schools of bonefish in order to tag as many fish as possible. Schools of several hundred bonefish were found in which the majority were measured and tagged before being released. Samples were also taken for age estimates.
According to Zack Jud from BTT, the main goal of the study was to get as many tags in the water, in as many locations around South Andros as possible. As these tagged fish start to become recaptured in the future, BTT will be able to tell anglers a great deal of information about these fish such as where it was tagged, how far it has traveled, and how much it has grown. Most importantly however, this information will allow for the BTT to gain a better understanding of how and where these fish are moving around South Andros in order to best protect the fishery in the future.
Many people don’t realize how little the science community actually knows about these incredible fish! We found it very refreshing learning about BTT’s goals and how much they rely on local guides and anglers to contribute to their research.
Over the course of the week Zack and his team tagged over 650 bonefish while releasing several hundred more without tags. The majority of these fish were captured by seining, but the group made sure to sample their share using a fly rod as well! We’ll make sure to keep you updated once we start to recapture these fish in the future.
Thanks to Zack, Allen, Carl, and Stacey for a great week.