Fish and Wildlife Research Institute

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Tarpon Catch-and-Release

The adrenaline-rushing excitement of catching a tarpon is arguably unrivaled in the sport-fishing world. What happens to the fish after it is released? Are post-release responses different depending on tarpon size, environmental conditions or other factors? Learn more about the research exploring these questions.



2002-2003: Incidence of Foul-hooking in FMRI* Boca Grande Pass Tarpon Catch and Release Mortality Study (REVISED AND UPDATED SEPTEMBER 11, 2013)

FMRI recently provided commission staff members with this briefing document regarding the issue of proportions of foul-hooked fish observed in the Boca Grande Pass tarpon study.

2002–2004: Tarpon Catch-and-Release Mortality Study, Boca Grande Pass (REVISED AND UPDATED SEPTEMBER 11, 2013)

Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) biologists have completed a study designed to measure Atlantic tarpon catch-and-release fishing mortality in Boca Grande Pass, Florida.

2005-2006: Tarpon Catch-and-Release Study—TAMPA BAY

The Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) tarpon catch-and-release mortality study moves to Tampa Bay for the 2005-2006 seasons.

Tracking the Silver King

By using acoustic telemetry and geographic information system software, researchers follow and plot the movements of the mighty tarpon.

Stress Effects of Catch-and-Release Fishing on Tarpon

Understanding how tarpon targeted in Florida's recreational fishery react to catch-and-release angling can provide useful information for anglers, scientists, and managers to develop better handling practices.

Gallery: Breakaway Gear Used in Boca Grande Pass

View representative photos of breakaway gear used by tarpon anglers in Boca Grande Pass from 2002 to 2004, as observed by researchers during the catch-and-release mortality study.

Tarpon Fishing Methods in Boca Grande Pass

Read detailed descriptions of the two predominant tarpon fishing methods researchers observed in Boca Grande Pass during the catch-and-release mortality study from 2002 to 2004.


FWC Facts:
The Gulf sturgeon spawns 140 miles upstream from the mouth of the Suwannee River, one of the last pristine rivers with no dams to bar its path.

Learn More at AskFWC