Hatchery snook released in 1999 is all grown up
Anglers can help with snook restocking efforts during November fishing tournament
A snook raised in Mote Marine Laboratory’s Center for Fisheries Enhancement and released when it was about 7 inches long as part of an ongoing restocking study was recently caught again as a 34-inch long snook.
That’s the largest hatchery-raised snook ever documented after being re-caught. This particular snook, caught during regular monitoring of Bowlees Creek in Sarasota, was an exciting find for the program because it was an adult female that had likely already spawned.
"This shows that hatchery snook can contribute to the fishery," said Dr. Kenneth Leber, director of Mote’s Center for Fisheries Enhancement. "These are the most exciting impacts we’ve seen in Florida so far. Certainly this kind of impact has never been documented anywhere else in the world because there isn’t this kind of monitoring done in many restocking efforts."
The find also shows that hatchery-raised snook can stay alive long enough to outgrow the slot size for snook, Leber said. The slot is 26 to 34 inches, with closed seasons Dec. 15 to Jan. 31 and all of June, July and August.
Anglers can help continue this exciting research by participating in the upcoming 7th Annual Snook Shindig Research Tournament sponsored by the Snook Foundation, said Director Chris Malkin. The tournament helps fund studies of one of Florida’s premiere game fish. "This is a perfect event for anglers interested in the conservation of snook and helping the survival of this important species in Florida," he said.
The Snook Shindig is a Rolex/IGFA inshore qualifying event and offers prizes on a points basis for first, second and third place winners and includes a separate category for youth anglers 12 and younger who fish with a participating adult. The event includes a benefit auction sponsored by the Bonefish Grill that also helps raise money for snook research.
WHAT: Snook Shindig
WHEN: The tournament begins after the mandatory 6 p.m. Captain’s Meeting. The meeting is in the courtyard of Mote Aquarium, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, on Nov. 12. All anglers must have lines out of the water at noon and be checked in at the judging stations no later than 1 p.m. on Nov. 13.
WHERE: Sarasota-area waters for boating, wading or shore anglers of all ages.
WHY: To help fund snook restocking and conservation efforts and help gather scientific information on hatchery snook.
SNOOK SHINDIG REGISTRATION: $50 for adults, $30 for youths through age 12 who must be accompanied by a participating adult.
ADULT PRIZES: $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place and $250 for third.
JUNIOR PRIZES: Include trophies and fishing gear
BENEFIT AUCTION: Sponsored by the Bonefish Grill, $75 per couple, $45 per person.
ENTRY FORMS: May be downloaded at http://www.snookfoundation.org.
INFORMATION: Call the Snook Foundation at 941-388-4558.
ETC.: Snook Shindig entry fee includes entry in the tournament, one ticket to the benefit auction, T-shirt, IGFA and Snook Foundation membership. All IGFA rules apply. Adult winner receives an invitation to the Rolex/IGFA INSHORE Championship. Junior winners are invited to the IGFA Junior World Championships.
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For additional information:
NADINE SLIMAK, Public Relations Manager
941-388-4441 ext. 417; cell 941-302-4997