A juvenile tarpon habitat restoration project near Boca Grande, Florida has been underway since August. Included is a two-year research assessment, which will fully document the restoration’s effectiveness in creating viable juvenile tarpon habitat.
Juvenile tarpon require unique habitat, as their ability to gulp air from the surface allows them to live in water that contains very little oxygen. These areas support little in the way of predators to juvenile tarpon – larger fish need oxygenated water, and wading birds have a tough time getting into the typically overgrown areas. Mucky backwater mangrove and marsh areas, where mosquitoes breed, are ideal.
With enough food (other small fish) and cover to keep them safe for a year, the young tarpon will relocate from these areas and begin to use more open habitats.
This is the first of potentially many habitat restoration projects for juvenile tarpon. Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, in collaboration with The Lemon Bay Conservancy, are working together to identify and restore appropriate habitat for juvenile tarpon. If you would like to get involved or make a contribution, please contact the email address: [email protected].