Snook released into Philippi Creek for ongoing study of popular sport fish
Mote Marine Laboratory scientists released approximately 450 juvenile snook into Phillippi Creek in Sarasota County on Tuesday, June 13, for ongoing studies of habitat-use patterns of these important sportfish.
The fish were raised at Mote Aquaculture Research Park (MAP) and fitted with PIT tags (passive integrated transponders), which will be detected when the snook swim near solar-powered antenna arrays installed at eight creek-front properties. Study results are intended to help inform resource managers and the community to help support snook populations into the future.
By releasing the fish into Philippi Creek, Mote scientists are examining how much time the fish spend near seawalls without vegetation, seawalls with vegetation or natural shoreline sites. The scientists want to know whether or not snook reside in natural habitats longer or disperse more quickly from seawalls with no vegetation than seawalls with vegetation. One of the goals is to provide this information to homeowners so that they can make fish-friendly decisions with their shorelines.
A major goal of Mote’s Fisheries Ecology & Enhancement Program is developing responsible guidelines to release hatchery-reared snook into the wild to help keep the population sustainable. By understanding what snook need — including quality habitat — Mote scientists are working toward that goal.