Last week Chris and I were on the hunt for juvenile tarpon and permit. On Tuesday we met Bruce in Port St. Lucie and headed to Hutchison Island to look for young of the year tarpon. We had some ideas of where to look from previous research conducted at Florida International Institute but our timing was a little off. We saw a few one year old fish but it was too early in the year to find any younger ones. We are going to try again in a few months.
On Wednesday, Julie (a graduate student at RSMAS) joined us on a quick trip to Key Biscayne to catch newly settled permit (< 1 inch and likely less than month old). This work is part of an ongoing project to better understand the timing and potential locations of permit spawning events by aging newly settled fish. We can use oceanic models to predict how many days it would take larvae to reach our beaches from different locations and check with the age of the fish that we find to see if it matches. We caught, measured and released over 150 permit less than 4 inches in two hauls but did not catch any of the really small ones that we hoped to find.