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Tarpon Acoustic Tagging Project Update: Four Fish Tagged in South Georgia

BTT had a successful tagging week in August, with four tarpon tagged in south Georgia. The fish ranged in size from 55 pounds to 115 pounds. The addition of these four fish brings the total tagged tarpon count for 2019 to 65! We look forward to following the movements of these fish for the next five years across the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico.

These tags transmit acoustic pings to underwater receivers that are positioned all along the coast by BTT and other collaborating research institutions. The receivers record the time, date and tag number when a tag is in range, allowing us to better understand what drives tarpon to move (or not to move). This is our fourth year of tagging with acoustic transmitters and we are already receiving two and three years of data for the same fish. For those fish detected in Georgia, current data shows the majority of tarpon arrive into Georgia waters in early June and remain there as late as November. These data indicate that some tarpon choose to overwinter to the south, as close as Cape Canaveral, while others make the journey all the way to Key West between the months of December and May. These 5-year tags allow us to see long-term movement patterns and the connectivity within the tarpon population and between state and regional boundaries. Stay tuned for more tarpon tagging updates. To learn more about BTT’s Tarpon Acoustic Tagging Project, click here.

We’d like to thank Pipe Dreams @pipedreamsyacht for generously hosting BTT researchers during this tagging expedition, Capt. Danny Flynn @fishameliaisland for his time and expertise, and Capt. Scott Owens @southeastern_angling and Capt. Billy McFadden @captainbillymcfadden. We also thank Maverick Boat Group, sponsor of BTT’s Tarpon Acoustic Tagging Project.