Dr. Aaron Adams, senior scientist for Mote Marine, and a volunteer spread the 600-foot net they use to capture juvenile Tarpon for scientific data.
JoEllen King and her father, Tom, right, and Dr. Aaron Adams tend to the net they use to capture the juvenile Tarpon for scientific data.
JoEllen King scans a juvenile Tarpon to see if tracking tag already exsists inside the belly. If one does, the Tarpon is released. If there is not one, a tag in inserted before releasing the fish.
Boca Grande Chamber of Commerce executive director Lew Hastings inserts a clipping of a juvenile Tarpon fin into a vile. The viles will be sent to the FWC for DNA analysis.
Although the vast majority of juvenile Tarpon are successfully caught and released, occassionally some succumb to the stress.
Dr. Aaron Adams, senior scientist of Mote Marine, tries to free a net that became stuck in the muck.
JoEllen King, center, and volunteers remove juvenile Tarpon from a 600-foot net.
WATERLINE PHOTOS BY LEE ANDERSON
Golf balls and aluminum cans are common byproducts found in the net used by the Juvenile Tarpon Tagging Research Project at the Wildflower Preserve in Englewood.
JoEllen King prepares to insert a tracking tag into the belly of a juvenile tarpon. King, a University of Florida graduate student, is incharge of the Juvenile Tarpon Tagging Research Project.
Waist-deep in muck, water seeping into her boots, hands starting to burn from hauling in a 600-foot net, and keeping an eye out for the occasional alligator: This is just a typical Saturday morning for JoEllen King, and she would have it no other way.
While most of her friends are catching up on sleep, the 25-year-old University of Florida graduate student is hard at work catching one of the area’s most sought-after fish — tarpon. More specifically, juvenile tarpon.
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