Fishing Rodeo Catches Fish Science

Fishing Rodeo Catches Fish Science

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As competitors pull in their catch, young students from the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and University of South Alabama are busy measuring, weighing and cutting into the fish to learn all they can from a few knife strokes.  The data are collected under the direction of USA Professor Dr. Bob Ship.  This year they're paying special attention to spotted sea trout and other varieties of trout.  This is the latest in several consecutive years of fish studies at the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo.

"We've learned that our fish stocks are better here than probably anywhere else there's a big controversy going on with red snapper but the one thing everyone agrees on are the stocks are really getting strong," says Shipp.  He has been such a big part of the rodeo as both a scientist and a judge the new weigh station was named for him in the hopes he won't retire anytime soon.  The old station had to go.

"They built the old one in the 70s or 80s and it had steel pilings supporting it got a bad case of aloe bay termites, rust!" says Gene Fox with the Jaycees.  Some of the fish not part of this year's study get labeled and put here as part of an outreach program.  You have fish questions, they have fish answers.

"We have people that come by and tell people what the fish are ways to identify them cool facts about them what makes these fish special essentially," says Sea Lab Employee Pavel Dimenis. 

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