Collaborative research conducted by FWRI scientists examines how
different species of snook share habitat with largemouth bass in
Florida river systems.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission's (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research
Institute's (FWRI) Marine Fisheries and Freshwater Fisheries
sections have teamed together to study common snook,
Centropomus undecimalis, and largemouth bass,
Micropterus salmoides, in three river systems along the
east coast of Florida. The main goal of the project is to compare
habitat and diet overlap between these two apex (top-level)
predators. This joint, multi-disciplinary study also examines large
and small scale movements and will expand the knowledge-base of
lesser known species of snook (small-scale fat snook, C.
parallelus, large-scale fat snook, C. mexicanus,
tarpon snook, C. pectinatus, and swordspine snook, C.
Common snook, small-scale fat snook and largemouth bass have
been tagged and released in the Sebastian, St. Lucie, and
Loxahatchee Rivers. Some common snook have also been tagged in the
Indian River Lagoon and nearby inlets. The tags are yellow dart
tags inserted at the base of the dorsal fin as shown in the image
below. For this project, most dart tags have the prefix
"snk" but some have the prefix "Cun," followed by
a series of numbers.
If a tagged fish is caught, please report the information found
on the tag (an example is listed below) by calling the Tag Return
Hotline at 1-800-367-4461 or by e-mailing the information to tagreturn@MyFWC.com. The tag
may be fouled with algae, but the algae can be scraped off with a
fingernail in order to read the tag number.
A tagged common snook
Note the location of the yellow tag near the dorsal
The following information is needed from the tags:
Species of fish
Tag number ("snk 1234" or "Cun 123").
Date, location, total length of the recaptured fish and the status
of the fish (such as if it is kept, released with the tag, released
without the tag, or found dead).
The angler's name, address, phone number, and shirt size.
(The reason for requesting a shirt size is that anglers who
report this information will receive a free T-shirt. Details are
If the fish is to be released, please leave the tag intact.
In addition, some fish have been surgically implanted with
acoustic tags. These tags allow biologists to track the fish on a
near constant basis to determine small scale movements within its
habitat. Most of these fish have external tags that read "Please
Release." If possible, please release these fish back into the
water with the external tag intact.
In appreciation for cooperating with this research, everyone who
reports the recapture of a tagged fish will receive a snook and
bass T-shirt, as well as the original tagging information for that