How research happens during the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo

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Dauphin Island, Ala. (WKRG) — News 5’s Caroline Carithers caught up with Angela Levins of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab to see how research is conducted during the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo held on Dauphin Island in July.

“The Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo is the largest sampling opportunity and public outreach event for research teams at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. Each year’s sample collection is dependant upon the research work being done at the time,” Levins said.

This year, samples were taken from red drum, speckled trout, gray snapper, gafftop catfish, hardhead catfish, groupers, tripletail, and southern flounder. 

Scientists sample everything to stomachs to gonads to ear bones to determine the age of the fish and what they eat. They have also recently introduced live tagging and weighing.

“This year, 29 speckled trout, 24 red drum, and 5 tripletail were tagged and released. There was also one Atlantic tarpon satellite tagged. These tagged animals help researchers to learn about the travel patterns of fish in our area” Levins said.

Results from the samples taken from the 1,144 fish caught in July will be released to the public in April.

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