Anglers can assist biologists by tagging and sampling DNA from any permit they catch and release. Participants will mark each fish with a dart tag and obtain a small fin clip from the dorsal or anal fin of the fish. The information from the tags and DNA samples will improve biologists' understanding of permit movement and distribution. Although the program is relatively new, biologists already have documented a tagged permit that had traveled more than 40 miles along the east coast of Florida before being captured again.
Fish and Wildlife Research Institute scientists will also compare permit DNA samples to determine whether all the tagged fish come from the same genetic stock. Resource managers can use this information for regulating the permit fishery.
The Bonefish & Tarpon Trust proposed the collaborative study after obtaining a grant from Costa Del Mar, which agreed to supply funds for the tagging kits for three to five years.
Anglers who would like to participate in Project Permit can obtain a free, easy-to-use tagging kit by e-mailingProjectPermit@MyFWC.com or by calling 800-367-4461. Each kit contains enough material to sample five fish.
For more information on Project Permit, visit MyFWC.com/Research, click on "Saltwater," scroll down to "Saltwater Fish" and click on "Permit."
Carli Segelson, 727-896-8626