Donate to BTT Join/Renew Membership

Bonefish Research

For decades, it was assumed that since the recreational bonefish fishery was primarily catch and release, conservation and management weren’t needed.  As we learn more about bonefish and the fisheries they support, however, we now know that this assumption was not valid.  Research by BTT collaborators, for example, has revealed that the way that anglers handle bonefish can significantly influence the survival rate of bonefish after release.  With this information we can now focus on angler education to ensure that catch and release is a valid conservation tool for sustainable bonefish fisheries.

It is also now apparent that the habitat loss and degradation, as well as illegal harvest, constitute real and potential threats to bonefish populations and the fisheries they support.  This is why BTT supports research to identify key juvenile habitats and spawning locations so that efforts to protect these critical habitats and locations can be initiated.  Similarly, tagging studies help to identify habitats essential to adult bonefish, again informing habitat conservation.  BTT will continue to assess the status of knowledge for bonefish as well as threats, and fund needed research, conservation, and education projects.

A Summary of the Bonefish Life Cycle.

Ongoing Projects

Bonefish Genetics Program

Juvenile Bonefish Habitats

Bonefish Movements

Bonefish Growth Rates

Spawning Site Identification

Archive of Bonefish Research

Studies Receiving BTT Support

Movements and site fidelity of the bonefish, Albula vulpes in the northern Florida Keys determined by acoustic telemetry.  Email bob@bonefishtarpontrust.org for PDF

Behavior and mortality of caught-and-released bonefish (Albula spp.) in Bahamian waters with implications for a sustainable recreational fishery. Download PDF

Rethinking the status of Albula spp. biology in the Caribbean and western Atlantic. Download PDF

Effects of recreational angling on the post-release behavior and predation of bonefish (Albula vulpes): The role of equilibrium status at the time of release. Download PDF

The effects of using supplemental oxygen for retention of bonefish in tournaments.  Download PDF

The economic impact of flats fishing in The Bahamas.  Download PDF

An evaluation of the injury and short-term survival of bonefish (Albula spp.) as influenced by a mechanical lip-gripping device used by recreational anglers. Download PDF

Effects of different capture techniques on the physiological condition of bonefish Albula vulpes evaluated using field diagnostic tools. Download PDF

Aggregations and offshore movements as indicators of spawning activity of bonefish (Albula vulpes) in The Bahamas. Download PDF

Movements and site fidelity of the bonefish Albula vulpes in the northern Florida Keys determined by acoustic telemetry.

Strategies for the capture and transport of bonefish, Albula vulpes, from tidal creeks to a marine research laboratory for long-term holding.  Download PDF

Estimates of field activity and metabolic rates of bonefish (Albula vulpes) in coastal marine habitats using acoustic tri-axial accelerometer transmitters and intermittent-flow respirometry.  Download PDF

Seasonal energetics and condition of bonefish from different subtropical tidal creeks in Eleuthera, the Bahamas.  Download PDF

Thermal biology of bonefish (Albula vulpes) in Bahamian coastal waters and tidal creeks: An integrated laboratory and field study. Download PDF

Physiological disturbance and recovery dynamics of bonefish (Albula vulpes), a tropical marine fish, in response to variable exercise and exposure to air. Download PDF

Identification of a novel member in the family Albulidae (bonefishes). Download PDF

Impacts of dissolved oxygen on the behavior and physiology of bonefish: Implications for live-release angling tournaments.  Download PDF

General Archive of Research Articles

Alexander, E. C. (1961). A contribution to the life history, biology, and geographical distribution of the bonefish, Albula vulpes (Linnaeus). Miami, FL, Carlesberg Foundation: 49.

Ault, J. S., et al. (2002). Bonefish Conservation Program in South Florida, University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science: 101.

Ault, J. S., et al. (2005). “Bonefish movements and their relationship to maturity and spawning in the Florida Keys.” Contributions in Marine Science 37: 93-94.

Bohlke, J. E. and C. C. G. Chaplin (1968). Family Albulidae: Bonefishes. Fishes of the Bahamas and adjacent tropical waters. Wynnewood, PA, Livingston Publishing Company: 40-41.

Bruger, G. E. (1974). Age, Growth, Food Habits, and Reproduction of Bonefish, Albula vulpes, in South Florida Waters, Florida Department of Natural Resources Marine Research Laboratory: 20.

Bruger, G. E. and K. D. Haddad (1986). Management of tarpon, bonefish, and snook in Florida. Multi-jurisdictional management of marine fisheries, Tampa, FL, National Coalition for Marine Conservation.

Colborn, J., et al. (2001). “The evolutionary enigma of bonefishes (Albula spp.): Cryptic species and ancient separations in a globally distributed shorefish.” Evolution 55(4): 807-820.

Colton, D. E. and W. S. Alevizon (1983). “Feeding Ecology of Bonefish in Bahamian Waters.” Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 112: 178-184.

Colton, D. E. and W. S. Alevizon (1983). “Movement patterns of bonefish, Albula vulpes, in Bahamian waters.” Fishery Bulletin 81(1): 148-154.

Cooke, S. J., et al. (2006). “Is catch-and-release angling compatible with no-take marine protected areas?” Ocean & Coastal Management 49: 342-354.

Cooke, S. J. and D. P. Philipp (2004). “Behavior and mortality of caught-and-released bonefish (Albula spp.) in Bahamian waters with implications for a sustainable recreational fishery.” Biological Conservation 118: 599-607.

Crabtree, R. E., et al. (1996). “Age, growth, and mortality of bonefish, Albula vulpes, from the waters of the Florida Keys.” Fishery Bulletin 94: 442-451.

Crabtree, R. E., et al. (1997). “Maturation and reproductive seasonality in bonefish, Albula vulpes, from the waters of the Florida Keys.” Fish. Bull. 95: 456-465.

Crabtree, R. E., et al. (1998). “Feeding habits of bonefish, Albula vulpes, from the waters of the Florida Keys.” Fish. Bull. 96: 754-766.

Danylchuk, A. J., et al. (2006). “Post-release mortality of bonefish (Albula vulpes) exposed to different handling practices during catch-and-release angling in South Eleuthera, Bahamas.” Fisheries Management and Ecology 14: 149-154.

Danylchuk, S. E., et al. (2007). “Effects of recreational angling on the post-release behavior and predation of bonefish (Albula vulpes): The role of equilibrium status at the time of release.” Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 346: 127-133.

Debrot, D. and J. M. Posada (2005). “A brief description of the bonefish recreational fishery in Los Roques Archipelago National Park, Venezuela.” Contributions in Marine Science 37: 60-64.

Eldred, B. (1967). Larval bonefish, Albula vulpes (Linnaeus, 1758), (Albulidae) in Florida and adjacent waters. St. Petersburg, FL, Florida Board of Conservation; Division of Salt Water Fishes: 4.

Fitch, J. E. (1950). “Life history notes and the early development of the bonefish, Albula vulpes (Linnaeus).” California Fish and Game 36(1).

Fitzsimons, J. M., et al. (2002). “Similarities in bahvioral ecology among amphidromous and catadromous fishes on the oceanic islands of Hawai’i and Guam.” Environmental Biology of Fishes 65: 123-129.

Friedlander, A., et al. (2004). “Investigation of the Biology and Monitoring the Stock of Bonefish of Palmyra Atol, Line Islands, Central Pacific Ocean.” 45 pages.

Harnden, C. W. and D. Snodgrass (2000). Species composition and recruitment of selected fish species to ocean-side beaches in the Florida Keys: 23.

Herrera-Pavon, R. and A. M. Arce-Ibarra (2005). “Tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) and Bonefish (Albula vulpes) recreational fishery in southern Quintana Roo, Mexico.” Contributions in Marine Science 37: 97.

Humston, R., et al. (2005). “Movements and site fidelity of bonefish (Albula vulpes) in the northern Florida Keys determined by acoustic telemetry.” Marine Ecology Progress Series 291: 237-248.

Larkin, M. F., et al. (2010). “A mail survey to estimate the fishery dynamics of southern Florida’s bonefish charter fleet.” Fisheries Management and Ecology: 1-8.

Machado, G. and R. Jaen (1982). General Overview of Sport Fishing in Venezuela. Proceedings of the thirty-fifth annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute, Nassau, Bahamas, Proc. Gulf Caribb. Fish. Inst.

Mojica, R. J., et al. (1994). “Recruitment of bonefish, Albula vulpes, around Lee Stocking Island, Bahamas.” Fishery Bulletin 93: 666-674.

Obermiller, L. E. and E. Pfeiler (2003). “Phylogenetic relationships of elopomorph fishes inferred from mitochondrial ribosomal DNA sequences.” Molecular phylogenetics and Evolution 26: 202-214.

Pfeiler, E. (1981). “Salinity tolerance of the leptocephalous larvae and juveniles of the bonefish (Albulidae: Albula) from the Gulf of California.” J. Exp. Mar. Bio. Ecol. 52: 37-45.

Pfeiler, E. (1984). “Changes in water and salt content during metamorphosis of larval bonefish (Albula).” Bulletin of Marine Science 34(2): 177-184.

Pfeiler, E. (1984). “Inshore migration, seasonal distribution and sizes of larval bonefish, Albula, in the Gulf of California.” Environmental Biology of Fishes 10(1/2): 117-122.

Pfeiler, E. (1996). “Allozyme differences in Caribbean and Gulf of California populations of bonefishes (Albula).” Copeia 1: 181-183.

Pfeiler, E. (1996). “Energetics of metamorphosis in bonefish (Albula sp.) leptocephali: Role of keratan sulfate glycosamnoglycan.” Fish Physiology and Biochemistry 15(4): 359-362.

Pfeiler, E. (1997). “Effect of Ca2+ on survival and development of metamorphosing bonefish (Albula sp.) leptocephali.” Marine Biology 127: 571-578.

Pfeiler, E. (2001). “Changes in hypoxia tolerance during metamorphosis of bonefish leptocephali.” Journal of Fish Biology 59: 1677-1681.

Pfeiler, E., et al. (1990). “Ontogenetic Changes in Proteins and Isozyme Expression in Larval and Juvenile Bonefish (Albula).” The Journal of Experimental Zoology 254: 248-255.

Pfeiler, E., et al. (2002). “Systematic status of bonefishes (Albula spp.) from the eastern Pacific Ocean inferred from analyses of allozymes and mitochondrial DNA.” Environmental Biology of Fishes 63: 151-159.

Pfeiler, E., et al. (1998). “Elemental (C, N and P) analysis of metamorphosing bonefish (Albula sp.) leptocephali: relationship to catabolism of endogenous organic compounds, tissue remodeling, and feeding ecology.” Marine Biology 132: 21-28.

Pfeiler, E. and A. Luna (1984). “Changes in biochemical composition and energy utilization during metamorphosis of leptocephalous larvae of the bonefish (Albula).” Environmental Biology of Fishes 10(4): 243-251.

Pfeiler, E., et al. (1988). “Premetamorphic bonefish (Albula sp.) leptocephali from the Gulf of California with comments on life history.” Environmental Biology of Fishes 21(4): 241-249.

Pfeiler, E., et al. (2008). “Speciation and demographic history of the Cortez bonefish, Albula sp. A (Albuliformes: Albulidae), in the Gulf of California inferred from mitochondrial DNA.” Journal of Fish Biology 73: 382-394.

Seyoum, S., et al. (2008). “Twelve polymorphic microsatellite markers for the bonefish, Albula vulpes and two congeners.” Molecular Ecology Resources 8: 354-356.

Shaklee, J. B. and C. S. Tamaru (1981). “Biochemical and morphological evolution of Hawaiian bonefishes (Albula).” Syst. Zool. 30(2): 125-146.

Snodgrass, D. and R. E. Crabtree (1999). Early life history of bonefish, Albula vulpes, from the waters of the lower and middle Florida Keys – ABSTRACT. Florida Chapter, American Fisheries Society – 19th Annual Meeting, Brookeville, FL.

Snodgrass, D., et al. (2008). “Abundance growth, and diet of young-of-the-year bonefish (Albula spp.) off the Florida Keys, U.S.A.” Bull. Mar. Sci. 82(2): 185-193.

Thompson, B. A. and L. A. Deegan (1982). “Distribution of ladyfish (Elops saurus) and bonefish (Albula vulpes) leptocephali in Louisiana.” Bulletin of Marine Science 32(4): 936-939.

Vasquez-Yeomans, L., et al. (2005). “Report on the collection of larvae of bonefish Albula vulpes from the coast of the Mexican Caribbean.” Contributions in Marine Science 37: 101.

Vasquez-Yeomans, L., et al. (2009). “Patterns of distribution and abundance of bonefish larvae Albula spp. (Albulidae) in the western Caribbean and adjacent areas.” Ichthyological Research.

Warmke, G. L. and D. S. Erdman (1963). “Records of marine mollusks eaten by bonefish in Puerto Rican waters.” The Nautilus 76(4): 115-121.

Weinberger, C. S. and J. M. Posada (2005). “Analysis on the diet of bonefish, Albula vulpes, in Los Roques Archipelago National Park, Venezuela.” Contributions in Marine Science 37: 30-44.