Conservation Captain of the Month: Capt. Martin Carranza

Another day at the office for Capt. Martin. Photo: Nick Shirghio

Another day in the office for Capt. Martin.
Photo: Nick Shirghio

The Conservation Captain for September 2015 is Capt. Martin Carranza out of Miami, Florida. To say Captain Martin has been on the bonefish this year would be an understatement. He has collected over 60 bonefish genetic samples in support of BTT’s Bonefish Genetics Program since July.

Click here for more info on about Capt. Martin Carranza.

Where do you guide and how long have you been guiding for? 

Biscayne Bay, Everglades National park and Upper Keys 9 months of the year.   I also guide hosted trips at my lodge in Patagonia.

How did you become a fishing guide?

When I realized how glamorous, profitable and glorious it was.  Seriously, I’ve been fly fishing since I was 5 or 6 years old, fishing with my Dad, Grandpa and my little brother.  When I was in my 20’s I moved to Patagonia so I could fish and guided on the weekends to make extra money to build my house.  Then in 2001 I moved to Miami, Florida and fell in love with Biscayne Bay and it’s bonefish and decided to spend as much time as I could with them so I learned how to catch them and now I help others catch these fantastic game fish.

How many days per year do you guide?

180 days being in the water and the rest of the year booking trips for the lodges I represent as a booking agent

What species do most of your clients want to fish for. Why? 

I have a diverse clientele but most of them want to catch Tarpon, permit and bonefish in that order.

Tell us about how the fishery used to be, compared to today. (Numbers of fish caught, seen, number of anglers on the water, etc.)

I can only tell you how it used to be since the early 2000’s until now, so my history here is short compared to some B&R anglers.  In my humble experience I have seen the fishery improve a lot, especially these past two years.  I am sure you guys will have the right answer as why this is happening, especially with bonefish.  When started fishing here I saw larger bonefish in schools or singles, depending of the time of the year, these fish were difficult to catch on a fly unless you did a great presentation.  After the freeze in 2010 bonefishing was difficult to say the least.  It took me a while to find them in their usual places and didn’t see as many as before and in 2013 I have seen a progressive increase in small bonefish numbers (16” to 22”) in most of Biscayne Bay, from Stiltsville to Key Largo.   These smaller fish are easier to feed than the larger, older fish, especially with flies which is my method of choice.  I am also seeing a lot more permit to the point where I am not sure if I need to go to Mexico anymore to catch them.

In your opinion, what is the most important conservation issue facing the Keys fishery right now and what can be done to help fix it?

I can only speak about the areas where I fish and think that the lack of controls in the water on behalf of the authorities is one, I believe people take more than they are allowed to.  Water pollution is of huge impact and it’s all over the news.  Habitat destruction is happening.   So to answer this question I would implement better controls of recreational anglers, I would somehow create pole and troll areas, like in Everglades National Park and try to restore the natural flow of the river of Grass.

Despite some of the negative things happening to our fishery, why do you love it so much?

I love it here because it is my home.  It is challenging yet rewarding and it is a wonder of nature that in a place where men has done everything to ruin it we still have world record bonefish, tarpon, permit and other species.

Why do you support Bonefish and Tarpon Trust?

Because BTT is an active organization trying with limited resources to succeed in balancing nature and preserve and protect our beloved species.  BTT DOES THINGS and these things WORK.

In your opinion, what is the most important work that BTT does and why?

The most important thing to me is that it was actually created AND it works.  BTT is actively researching and finding answers that nobody knew, as an example that bonefish migrate from Biscayne Bay to the Bahamas and maybe Cuba….  Same with Tarpon.   Knowledge is the key to conservation and all the work you guys are doing is paying its dividends in the form of more fish where they used to be.

Why should a fisherman that doesn’t live in Florida or the Caribbean care about BTT?

This world is a delicate balance of nature, every living creature is linked to another despite the distance.  We must preserve this balance.  On a personal and selfish point of view if I was an angler living in say, Michigan and wanted to catch bonefish and tarpon, I should definitely care about our country’s own population of these fish.

You have the day off. What species are you going to fish for, where are you going to find them, and how are you going to catch them.

I would go a few flats I know in between Key Biscayne and Key Largo where at either end of the low tide I will find double digit bonefish tailing or cruising with their fins off the water.  I will be using a 6 wt rod with 14 + leader tapered to 12 lbs and my own boner fly.  There are just 3 spots I know of where I can do this and most of the times I fail at feeding these huge bonefih, but that’s exactly what keeps me coming back.

Tell us one of your favorite fishing stories.

Well, I remember that day clearly even though it happened 35 years ago.  I was fishing the Malleo River with my Dad, one of the first Argentine fly fishers.  It was raining hard and I was fishing a few yards behind him.  I think I was 7 years old.  I was fishing a fly called Matona, an old school streamer when I hooked a very big rainbow trout.  I remember when I saw the flash underwater I thought I hooked a can and asked my Dad to help me unhook it.  He started laughing when the “can” started jumping on the far bank and when I saw the size I panicked.  It was a 10 lb silver rainbow trout and with the help of my Dad it took me a long while to land it.  I was proud to see my Dad telling me all sort of compliments and loved every minute of that horrible rainy day.  The photo of me and that trout was under the glass of my Grandpa’s night table.  Of course there were no C&R ethics back then so we ate it.  Oops.

A Letter to the FWC Regarding Proposed Barracuda Regulations in Florida

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Photo – Pat Ford

Recently, anglers, guides, and others have reported a drastic decline in the south Florida barracuda population. In response to their concerns, FWC is considering improving regulations for barracuda to help the population recover.

On September 3rd, FWC will be voting on new regulations to help protect south Florida’s troubled barracuda population. The following are the proposed rules going to vote at the meeting, as well as a BTT-collaborator letter to FWC Division of Marine Fisheries Management Director, Jessica McCawley, suggesting proactive regulations for barracuda that includes a request for no commercial harvest.

Proposed size rule:
-slot limit in the form of a minimum size limit of 15 inches and a maximum size limit of 36 inches that would apply to both recreational and commercial fisheries
-only apply in state and federal waters off Collier, Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin counties

Proposed bag limit:
-daily recreational bag limit of two fish, a daily commercial trip limit of 20 fish, and a daily commercial vessel limit of 20 fish
-Only apply in state and federal waters off Collier, Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin counties

Click here to sign your name in support of the following letter.

The Division of Marine Fisheries Management

Division Director Jessica McCawley

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Farris Bryant Building 620 S. Meridian St.

Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600

Dear Director McCawley:

We commend you for the work of you and your staff that resulted in improved regulations for bonefish, tarpon, and permit. These new regulations improved the outlook for the future of flats fishery in the Florida Keys that brings an economic value of $465 million annually, not to mention the positive effect on the fisheries for tarpon and permit that occur throughout the state. However, we note another troubling trend that we and our partners feels requires the immediate attention of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission: all indications are that the Florida Keys barracuda population is in significant decline (in size and abundance). Since barracuda are an important component of the recreational flats fishery, and the recreational fishery in general, in the Florida Keys, this is an item of great importance.

Our survey of fishermen, fishing guides, and scientists in the Florida Keys and South Florida indicates that this decline is due to an unregulated commercial fishery and unregulated recreational harvest for barracuda. As was the case with permit, there are few data on barracuda abundance, size, and harvest. However, those that spend time on the water and whose livelihoods are on the water have noticed a substantial decline in barracuda abundance and size over the past five years, especially in the last few years. This population decline has coincided with an increase in harvest of barracuda – primarily by the commercial sector, but also by recreational fishermen. In fact, FWC’s limited data on barracuda support this observation: commercial landings of barracuda increased by 65% in 2012.

Before there is an irreversible population decline of barracuda, management action is needed. Therefore, we urge FWC to follow the same process they used to address the bonefish, tarpon, and permit fisheries to obtain the necessary data to better regulate the barracuda fishery, and to take the responsible and precautionary approach to implementing regulations that will protect the barracuda population while the necessary information is being obtained.

In addition to the importance of barracuda to the economically important recreational flats fishery of the Florida Keys, they are also an important component of the flats ecosystem. Next to sharks, barracuda are likely the top predator on the flats, so should receive the same protection that FWC recently provided to many shark species. Finally, since barracuda are known carriers of ciguatoxins and the commercially harvested barracuda become part of the South Florida seafood market (although frequently marketed as another species), there is considerable and growing concern about the health risks posed to consumers. KeysKeeper, Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, and the Lower Keys Guides Association collectively request that barracuda become a top priority for FWC. .

Thank you for considering our request and for your public service. We look forward to your response.

Very truly yours,

Kasey Fey – Project Manager, KeysKeeper Inc.

Dr. Aaron J. Adams – Lead Scientist, Bonefish and Tarpon Trust

John O’Hearn – Director, Lower Keys Guides Association

The Boys are Back in Town!

South Carolina Juvenile TarponThe first crop of 2015 juvenile tarpon has now reached South Carolina shores! These little guys started showing up in tidal marsh pools near Georgetown during sampling sessions by collaborators at University of South Carolina, which indicates that juvenile and larval tarpon are recruiting in mid-summer in this area.  But what does that mean as they get bigger and temperatures start dropping?

This summer BTT will begin a year-long project to determine overwintering capability and temperature tolerances of juvenile tarpon at the Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center and USC’s Baruch Marine Field Laboratory.  BTT will fund a Field Technician stationed at the Lab to lead the project, which includes tagging and tracking tarpon in the field as well as laboratory experiments.  Our main goal is to determine if juvenile tarpon can survive the South Carolina winter and whether habitat management improves survival.

So, how can you help BTT’s juvenile tarpon research efforts? First, you can help us gather genetic samples by requesting a tarpon genetic sampling kit or you can make a donation the BTT’s Juvenile Tarpon Habitat Initiative.

Two Last Minute Openings For The Cabin Bluff Tarpon Cup August 20-23, 2015

There have been 2 cancellations, opening up 2 angler spots for the upcoming Cabin Bluff Tarpon Cup August 20-23, 2015 at Cabin Bluff in Georgia. This catch & release tournament will benefit the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust and our tarpon genetics research program. The field will consist of two-man, guided teams, vying for the prestigious Tarpon Cup Trophy.

All angler packages are inclusive prices (meals, drinks- including alcoholic beverages, tax, service charge, guide, and tournament entry fee) All packages are three night based – checking in Thursday August 20 and out Sunday August 23.

* Single (Angler in own room) $4,400

* Double (two anglers sharing a room) $5,300 total

* Two anglers (fishing together each has their own room) $3,215 per person

**Guide Gratuities are not included. For more information or to register for this event, please call Andy Ippensen at Cabin Bluff at

912-729-5960 or email at andy.Ippensen@cabinbluff.com

This is a fun tournament with proceeds going to BTT. For info about Cabin Bluff, visit http://www.cabinbluff.com/.

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED: Project Bay Bones Survey

BayBone2We have partnered with researchers at Florida International University to create PROJECT BAY BONES to investigate changes in South Florida waters and how these changes may affect the quality of bonefishing. We need YOUR help to fill in critical knowledge gaps on how bonefishing has changed in south Florida over the years. In the absence of scientific data on the health of bonefish populations, angler knowledge is an invaluable source of information. Thus, your participation is vital to the conservation of bonefish and to ensuring high quality fishing in the future!

You can help us by filling in a 10-15 minute survey and telling us about your fishing experiences. This survey is different than previous surveys on the bonefish fishery because it is tied into a larger study that is examining environmental changes in South Florida over time. Bringing all of these data sets together should help us better understand bonefish.

Click here to take the survey

If the link above does not work, please copy and paste the following URL into your browser: https://fiu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_1GplxUPVHqt5xtz

We are looking for bonefish anglers of all levels and years of experience, including fishing guides. Your participation in this study is greatly appreciated and we thank you in advance!

For further information or if you have any questions, please contact fishscience@fiu.edu

Bonefish & Tarpon Trust Announces Three New Board Members

MIAMI, FL – Bonefish and Tarpon Trust is pleased to announce three new members of its Board of Directors, Bill Andersen from The Andersen Firm, Dave Perkins from The Orvis Company, and Stephen C. Reynolds from Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation. The Bonefish and Tarpon Trust board is comprised of a diverse group of conservation-minded people from around the United States, all united in their passion for preserving bonefish, tarpon and permit fisheries for the future through stewardship, scientific research, education, and advocacy.

Bill Andersen is an avid saltwater and freshwater fly fisherman. Bill and his son, Will own the South Holston River Lodge in Tennessee. Bill is a Trust and Estates attorney and lead author to The Pocket Guide to Trusts & Estates: Understanding Estate Planning, Estate Settlement, Estate Litigation and Asset Protection. Bill is active with the American Museum of Fly Fishing and is a member of the Anglers Club of New York.

Dave Perkins is a current Vice Chairman of The Orvis Company, and has held numerous positions with the company since he started there in 1979. Mr. Perkins established Orvis’ retail business as well as built its core Sporting Traditions business including the Fly Fishing and Wingshooting Schools, the endorsed lodge outfitter and guide program and The International Travel Service. An avid fly angler and wingshooter, Dave is a past board member of the Ruffed Grouse Society, Chairman of the Board of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, and is currently on the board of the Tall Timbers Research Station and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Stephen C. Reynolds received a B.S. from Arkansas State University, Master of Health Administration from Washington University School of Medicine, and served in the U.S. Army before beginning as an Administrative Resident at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee in 1971. By 1992, he became President and CEO of the hospital and two years later became the President and CEO of Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation. In June 2014, Mr. Reynolds became President Emeritus and Senior Consultant of Baptist Memorial Health Corporation. Mr. Reynolds served on the Board of Ducks Unlimited Inc. for 18 years, was their National Secretary for 14 years, and currently serves on a number of other boards

“Bonefish and Tarpon Trust’s three new board members come from very different backgrounds, but all bring extensive board and business experience, a passion for fisheries conservation, and the willingness and know-how to aid in the organization’s continued growth in the future,” says current Board Chairman Tom Davidson. “We look forward to each of their contributions to the organization and advice and assistance to help fulfill the BTT mission.”

BTT is a fisheries conservation organization dedicated to enhancing global bonefish, tarpon and permit fisheries and habitats through stewardship, research, education and advocacy. If you would like to learn more about Bonefish and Tarpon Trust’s efforts, please contact Dan Dow at 845.239.6051 or dan@bonefishtarpontrust.org or visit our website at www.btt.org.

Abaco Bonefish Genetics Trip – Summer 2015

Last year BTT, in collaboration with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), initiated a three year genetics study looking at the connectivity of bonefish populations in the Caribbean and Western Atlantic. Determining the connectivity of bonefish populations is vital to improve conservation and fisheries management efforts for the species. Genetic samples are collected from bonefish by taking a small fin clip from the fish. These fin clips are then used for genetic analysis which can be compared to others to determine if a population of bonefish are related to another population elsewhere.

Earlier this summer Justin Lewis, BTT’s Bahamas Initiative Coordinator, lead a team consisting of Robbie Roemer, James Boyce, and Chris Bancroft to Abaco in hopes of collecting a lot of fin clip samples for the study. Our friends at Abaco Lodge hosted the team, and they would base their efforts from the lodge for duration of the trip.

With four days to collect samples the team thought it be best to cover as much ground as possible. Two days were spent in the Marls, another on the east side, and one day on the flats in northern Abaco. Over the course of the trip it was tough finding fish in the morning’s due to high tides and low light. Afternoon’s brought better fortune for the team with a falling tide and higher sun. Over the four day sampling period the team was able to fin clip 702 bonefish, and tagged 373 of those via seine netting. The guides Travis Sands, Marty Sawyer, Thom Albury, and Trevor Miller were all key to the team’s success as they were constantly able to find fish even with the less than optimal conditions the team faced.

More work is still to be done in Abaco, as well as many other islands around the Bahamas and the Caribbean. BTT cannot do this alone and angler participation in studies such as our genetics programs is key to their success. If you or others are interested in participating in our genetics study please contact us at info@bonefishtarpontrust.orgto to request a fin clip kit.

Bahamas Conservation Update 07-27-2015

July 27, 2015

Given all of the recent conversation about the state of bonefishing in the Bahamas, we thought it timely to share an update on the progress that has been made by our Bahamas Initiative collaborations toward science-based conservation of the Bahamas bonefish fishery. The goal of our long-standing research effort is to provide the information about bonefish and their habitats that is necessary to formulate an effective, comprehensive conservation strategy that focuses on habitat conservation, education, and appropriate regulation. Although a lot has already been accomplished by a long list of collaborators, much is still ongoing, and we are moving forward with ever-expanding programs.

Science Collaborators: Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, Fisheries Conservation Foundation, Cape Eleuthera Institute, College of the Bahamas, Bahamas National Trust, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Carleton University, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, University of Illinois, Friends of the Environment, The Nature Conservancy, Florida International University.

Lodge and Guide Collaborators: Abaco Fly Fishing Guides Association, Abaco Lodge, Bair’s Lodge, Black Fly Lodge, Andros South, Deep Water Cay, Swain’s Cay, Flamingo Cay Club, South Abaco Adventures, H2O Bonefishing, North Riding Point Club, East End Lodge, Delphi Lodge, Mangrove Cay Club.

List of Projects by Collaborators: 

Habitat Use: We have used and continue to use extensive tag-recapture and acoustic telemetry to identify bonefish home ranges, spawning migration pathways, and spawning sites. We are conducting field sampling to identify habitats for larval settlement and juveniles (life stages of bonefish most anglers rarely encounter, yet are critical to the maintenance of any fishery) and to understand their feeding. We are conducting seascape-level assessments of bonefish movements to understand how bonefish use the mixture of coastal habitats. Work has been conducted or is ongoing on Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, Abaco, Andros, the Exuma Cays, Long Island, Cat Island, as well as the Turks and Caicos Islands. National Parks have been proposed to protect these important habitats on Grand Bahama and Abaco.

Catch-and-Release Angling: We have conducted extensive research to determine the effect of catch-and-release angling on bonefish, which includes understanding best handling practices, bonefish physiology, and post-release predation. This information is being used to formulate education and outreach programs to help ensure that guides and anglers are using the best methods possible to promote high survival of released bonefish.

Population Connections: We are using high-resolution genetic analyses to determine the recruitment and connectivity patterns of bonefish populations among the islands of The Bahamas. The results will allow us to determine if local populations are self-supporting or are reliant on recruits from other islands, and as a result to find the best way to manage the fishery.

Bonefish Behavior and Physiology: We are using field and laboratory studies to understand bonefish behavior, feeding, physiology, and bioenergetics, not just under current environmental conditions, but also in the face of future climate change. This information will help formulate better fisheries and habitat management strategies for the future.

Human Environmental Impacts: We are studying how numerous potential human-induced environmental alterations impact bonefish, including how light pollution affects the behavior of juvenile bonefish and the physiology of adult bonefish, how contaminants in the ocean affect habitat use, reproduction, and the presence of disease.

Education: Cape Eleuthera Institute hosts over 1000 international students and more than 400 local students every year. Coastal ecosystem conservation is a focus of their programs. Friends of the Environment regularly runs field courses for students from Abaco. Science collaborators regularly give presentations about bonefish research and conservation at schools and at fishing lodges.

Scientific Articles Produced by the Bahamas Initiative Collaboration (35 papers since 2004): 

Adams, A.J., R.K. Wolfe, M.D. Tringali, E.M. Wallace, and G.T. Kellison. 2008. Rethinking the status of Albula spp. biology in the Caribbean and Western Atlantic. In: J.S. Ault (ed) Biology and Management of the World Tarpon and Bonefish Fisheries. CRC Press. Boca Raton, FL.

Adams, A.J., A.Z. Horodysky, R.S. McBride, T.C. MacDonald, J. Shenker, K. Guindon, H.D. Harwell, R. Ward, and K. Carpenter. 2013. Conservation Status and Research Needs for Tarpons (Megalopidae), Ladyfishes (Elopidae), and Bonefishes (Albulidae). Fish and Fisheries. 15(2):280-311.

Adams, A and K.J. Murchie. 2015. Recreational fisheries as conservation tools for mangrove habitats. Pages 43-56 in K.J. Murchie and P.P. Daneshgar (Eds.), Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on Mangroves as Fish Habitat. Mazatlán, Mexico. American Fisheries Society, Symposium 83, Bethesda, Maryland.

Brownscombe, J. W., J. D. Thiem, C. Hatry, F. Cull, C. R. Haak, A. J. Danylchuk & S. J. Cooke. 2013. Recovery bags reduce post-release impairments in locomotory activity and behavior of bonefish (Albula spp.) following exposure to angling-related stressors. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 440:207-215.

Brownscombe, J.W., L.F. Gutowsky, A.J. Danylchuk and S.J. Cooke. 2014. Foraging behaviour and activity of a marine benthivorous fish estimated using tri-axial accelerometer biologgers. Marine Ecology Progress Series 505: 241-251.

Cooke, S.J., C.D. Suski, S.E. Danylchuk, A.J. Danylchuk, M.R. Donaldson, C. Pullen, G. Bulte, A. O’Toole, K.J. Murchie, J.B. Koppelman, A.D. Shultz, E. Brooks, and T.L. Goldberg. 2008. Effects of capture techniques on the physiological condition of bonefish Albula vulpes evaluated using field physiology diagnostic tools. Journal of Fish Biology 73:1351-1375.

Cooke, S. J., A. J. Danylchuk, S. E. Danylchuk, C. D. Suski & T. L. Goldberg. 2006. Is catch-and-release recreational 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.

Cooke, S.J. and D.P. Philipp. 2008. Improving the sustainability of catch-and-release bonefish (Albula spp.) fisheries: insights for anglers, guides and fisheries managers. pp. 359-381. In: The World Biology of Tarpon and Bonefish. J.Ault, G. Kelley and R. Humston (Eds.). CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.

Dallas, L. J., A. D. Shultz, A. J. Moody, K. A. Sloman & A. J. Danylchuk. 2010. Chemical excretions of angled bonefish Albula vulpes and their potential use as predation cues by juvenile lemon sharks Negaprion brevirostris. Journal of Fish Biology. 77:947-962.

Danylchuk, A. J., S. E. Danylchuk, S.J. Cooke, T. L. Goldberg, J. Koppelman & D. P. Philipp. 2006. Do bonefish (Albula vulpes) use mangroves for protection from predators following catch-and-release angling? Proceedings of the Gulf Caribbean Fisheries Institute. 59:417-422.

Danylchuk, A. J., A. Adams, S. J. Cooke & C. D. Suski. 2008. 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. Fisheries Research. 93:248-252.

Danylchuk, A. J., S. E. Danylchuk, S. J. Cooke, T. L. Goldberg, J. Koppelman & D. P. Philipp. 2007. Ecology and management of bonefish (Albula spp) in the Bahamian Archipelago.pp. 73-92. In: In the World Biology of Tarpon and Bonefish. Ault, J. S., (Ed.). CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.

Danylchuk, A. J., S. E. Danylchuk, S. J. Cooke, T. L. Goldberg, J. Koppelman & D. P. Philipp. 2007. Post-release mortality of bonefish (Albula vulpes) exposed to different handling practices in South Eleuthera, Bahamas. Fisheries Management and Ecology, 14:149-154.

Danylchuk, S. E., A. J. Danylchuk, S. J. Cooke, T. L. Goldberg, J. Koppelman & D. P. Philipp. 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.

Danylchuk, A.J., S.J. Cooke, T.L. Goldberg, C.D. Suski, K.J. Murchie, S.E. Danylchuk, A. Shultz, C.R. Haak, E. Brooks, A. Oronti, J.B. Koppelman, and D.P. Philipp. 2011. Aggregations and offshore movements as indicators of spawning activity of bonefish (Albula vulpes) in The Bahamas. Marine Biology 158:1981-1999.

Murchie, K.J., A.D. Shultz, J.A. Stein, S.J. Cooke, J. Lewis, J. Franklin, G. Vincent, E.J. Brooks, J.E. Claussen, and D.P. Philipp. In Press. Defining adult bonefish (Albula vulpes) movement corridors around Grand Bahama in the Bahamian Archipelago. Environmental Biology of Fishes. 00:000-000.

Murchie, K.J., S. Clark Danylchuk, A.J. Danylchuk, and S.J. Cooke. 2015. Fish community and habitat assessments of three adjacent tidal creeks on Cape Eleuthera, The Bahamas. Pages 67-80 in K.J. Murchie and P.P. Daneshgar (Eds.), Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on Mangroves as Fish Habitat. Mazatlán, Mexico. American Fisheries Society, Symposium 83, Bethesda, Maryland.

Murchie, K.J., S.J. Cooke, A.J. Danylchuk, S.E. Danylchuk, T.L. Goldberg, C.D. Suski, and D.P. Philipp. 2013. Movement patterns of bonefish (Albula vulpes) in tidal creeks and coastal waters of Eleuthera, The Bahamas. Fisheries Research. 147:404-412.

Murchie, K.J., A.J. Danylchuk, S.J. Cooke, A.C. O’Toole, A. Shultz, C. Haak, E. Brooks, and C.D. Suski. 2012. Considerations for tagging and tracking fish in tropical coastal habitats: lessons from bonefish, barracuda, and sharks tagged with acoustic transmitters. In. Adams, N.S., Beeman, J.W, and Eiler, J.H. (eds.) Telemetry techniques: A user guide for fisheries research. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD. pp. 389-412.

Murchie, K.J., S.J. Cooke, A.J. Danylchuk, S.E. Danylchuk, T.L. Goldberg, C.D. Suski, and D.P. Philipp. 2011. Thermal biology of bonefish (Albula vulpes) in Bahamian coastal waters and tidal creeks: an integrated laboratory and field study. Journal of Thermal Biology 36:38-48.

Murchie, K.J., S.J. Cooke, A.J. Danylchuk, and C.D. Suski. 2011. 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. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 396:147-155.

Murchie, K.J., S.J. Cooke, and A.J. Danylchuk. 2010. Seasonal energetics and condition of bonefish from different subtropical tidal creeks in Eleuthera, The Bahamas. Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science 2:249-262.

Murchie, K.J., S.E. Danylchuk, C.E. Pullen, E. Brooks, A.D. Shultz, C.D. Suski, A.J. Danylchuk, and S.J. Cooke. 2009. Strategies for the capture and transport of bonefish, Albula vulpes, from tidal creeks to a marine research laboratory for long-term holding. Aquaculture Research 40:1538-1550.

Nowell, L.B., J.W. Brownscombe, L.F.G. Gutowsky, K.J. Murchie, C.D. Suski, A.J. Danylchuk, A. Shultz and S.J. Cooke. In Press. Swimming energetics and thermal ecology of adult bonefish (Albula vulpes): A combined laboratory and field study in Eleuthera, The Bahamas. Environmental Biology of Fishes. 00:000-000.

Seyoum, S., E.M. Wallace, and M.D. Tringali. 2008. 12 polymorphic microsatellite markers for the bonefish, Albula vulpes and two congeners. Molecular Ecology Resources 8: 354-356.

Shultz, A.D., K.J. Murchie, C. Griffith, S.J. Cooke, A.J. Danylchuk, T.L. Goldberg, and C.D. Suski. 2011. Impacts of dissolved oxygen on the behavior and physiology of bonefish: implications for live-release angling tournaments. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 402:19-26.

Shultz, A. D., Z. C. Zuckerman, H. A. Stewart & C. D. Suski. 2014. Seasonal blood chemistry response of sub-tropical nearshore fishes to climate change. Conservation Physiology. 2:1-12.

Suski, C.D., S.J. Cooke, A.J. Danylchuk, C.M. O’Connor, M-A. Gravel., T. Redpath, K.C. Hanson, A.J. Gingerich, K.J. Murchie, S.E. Danylchuk, J.B. Koppelman, and T.L. Goldberg. 2007. Physiological disturbance and recovery dynamics of bonefish (Albula vulpes), a tropical marine fish, in response to variable exercise and exposure to air. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A 148:664-673.

Suski, C. D., S. J. Cooke, A. J. Danylchuk, A. C. O’Connor, M. A. Gravel, T. Redpath & K. C. Hanson. 2007. Physiological disturbance and recovery dynamics of bonefish (Albula vulpes), a tropical marine fish, in response to variable exercise and exposure to air. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology. 148:664-663.

Stein, J. A., A. S. Shultz, S. J. Cooke, A. J. Danylchuk, K. Hayward & C. D. Suski. 2012. The influence of hook size, type, and location on hook retention and survival of angled bonefish (Albula vulpes). Fisheries Research. 113:147-152.

Szekeres, P., J.W. Brownscombe, F. Cull, A.J. Danylchuk, A.D. Shultz, C.D. Suski, K.J. Murchie and S.J. Cooke. 2014. Physiological and behavioural consequences of cold shock on bonefish (Albula vulpes) in The Bahamas. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 459:1-7.

Wallace, E.M. 2014. Redescription of Albula goreensis Valenciennes, 1847 (Albuliformes: Albulidae): a cryptic species of bonefish in the A. vulpes complex, with designation of a neotype. In: Assessing biodiversity, evolution, and biogeography in bonefishes (Albuliformes): resolving relationships and aiding management. University of Minnesota Dissertation, ProQuest LLC, Ann Arbor, MI. 123pp.

Wallace, E.M. 2014. Fishery composition and evidence of population structure and hybridization in the Atlantic bonefish species complex (Albula sp.). In: Assessing biodiversity, evolution, and biogeography in bonefishes (Albuliformes): resolving relationships and aiding management. University of Minnesota Dissertation, ProQuest LLC, Ann Arbor, MI. 123pp.

Wallace, E.M. 2014. Multilocus phylogenetic assessment of bonefishes: (Teleostei: Elopomorpha: Albuliformes) supports recognition of sympatric cryptic species and further revision to the order. In: Assessing biodiversity, evolution, and biogeography in bonefishes (Albuliformes): resolving relationships and aiding management. University of Minnesota Dissertation, ProQuest LLC, Ann Arbor, MI. 123pp.

Wallace, E.M. and M.D. Tringali. 2010. Identification of a novel member in the family Albulidae. Journal of Fish Biology. 76: 1972-1983.

Reports and Popular Press:

Adams, A.J. 2014. Ecological Assessment of bonefish (Albula vulpes) in Grand Bahama Island and the Marls of Abaco. Prepared for The Bahamas National Trust.

Adams, A.J. 2015. Searching for connections. Southern Culture on the Fly magazine. Spring 2015. (http://www.southerncultureonthefly.com/scof_spring2015.html)

Adams, A.J. and A.J. Danylchuk 2012. Sweet release: Take the proper precautions after the catch. Fly Fishing in Salt Water May/June 2012:32-33

Cooke, S.J., A.J. Danylchuk, and A. Adams. 2007. The science of handling and releasing bonefish. This Is Fly 4: 87-95 (www.thisisfly.com/?|=481).

Danylchuk, A.J. 2015. The Release: The fundaments of fish and the path to responsible angling. This Is Fly May. 50:60-64

Jud, Z. 2014. Rapid Ecological Assessment of bonefish (Albula vulpes) populations in Cross Harbour, Abaco, The Bahamas. Prepared for The Bahamas National Trust.

Murchie, K.J. 2009. Stalking the flats in the name of science. Fisheries 34:38.

Numerous popular press articles on Bahamas bonefish conservation have appeared each year in the Bonefish & Tarpon Journal, which can be accessed online here (http://www.bonefishtarpontrust.org/btt-publications/btt-publications.html)

Numerous articles have appeared in Bahamas newspapers, including:

Conservation Corner: The importance of mangroves for our fish. The Eleutheran.

Collaborative research on exuma will have conservation implications for important nearshore species. The Eleutheran.

Bonefish are bustin’ a move in Grand Bahama. The Eleutheran.

The science behind movement: tracking bonefish spawning migrations around Grand Bahama Island. Coastal Angler Magazine.

Focus on healthy bonefish population imperative. Nassau Guardian, New Providence

Focus on healthy bonefish population imperative. Freeport News, Grand Bahama

Bahamian and international organizations partner to better understand bonefish ecology. Eleutheran. Eleuthera.

Videos:

This video summarizes some of the ongoing tagging and tracking work:

This video discusses the ongoing genetics and tagging studies:

Collaborative Recommendations for a Bahamas Comprehensive Conservation Plan

btt logoAs many know, the Bahamas Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government recently released draft proposed regulations for the bonefish fishery. We praise the Ministry for taking on the challenge of devising a new plan for the economically and culturally important bonefish fishery.

Bonefish & Tarpon Trust provided comments that focused on the need for a comprehensive conservation and management plan that incorporated the threats of habitat loss and degradation. Many others in the flats fishing industry also provided comments.

As a follow up to previous position statements, BTT has collaborated with many in the flats fishing world to craft a revised approach to creating a comprehensive conservation and management plan for the Bahamas bonefish fishery. The recommendations are intended as constructive contributions to the ongoing efforts, not as a proposed management plan. All those who have signed on to this document have an interest in the long term health of the fishery, and from many different perspectives – guides, lodge owners, travel outfitters, fishing trade associations, conservation science. It is notable that this diverse group reached a consensus on this document as a focal point for moving forward. The hope is to find a comprehensive conservation plan that includes conservation, education, and enforcement that will ensure a healthy bonefish fishery for the future.

Click here to read the new recommendations and to add your signature to the support list.