Tarpon

(Megalops atlanticus)

 

 

Maturity at: 130 cm in length

Max Published Size: 250 cm and 355 pounds

TnT Record: 220 pounds (unofficial)

TnT Season: Year round with peaks from June to Oct

IUCN status: Vulnerable

 

 

General Information: Found in coastal waters, bays, estuaries, mangrove lagoons, and rivers. Very often seen in river mouths entering fresh water.  Tend to feed on sardines, anchovies, mugilidae and crabs. They can fill their swim bladder directly with air and allows the fish to live in oxygen-poor waters. Tarpons have a high fecundity, a 203 cm female can produce over 12 million eggs and they tend to spawn in waters which can are temporarily isolated from the open sea. Highly appreciated in sport fishing: They jump several times when hooked which makes them very challenging atractive to catch. Marketed fresh or salted. The flesh is esteemed despite it being bony.  Trinidad and Tobago is famous for the abundance of tarpon, larger individuals are commonly found to the northwest of Trinidad while smaller ones are common in Tobago waters.

 

Photo courtesy Brett Thompson

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