Tarpon

sketch
 

Family Elopidae, TARPONS
Megalops atlanticus
Illustrations and Copyright by Diane Rome Peebles
Il
lustrations are for viewing purposes only.


Description: last ray of dorsal fin extended into long filament; one dorsal fin; back dark blue to green or greenish black, shading into bright silver on the sides; may be brownish gold in estuarien waters; huge scales; mouth large and points upward.

Similar Fish: (as juveniles) ladyfish, Elops saurus.

Where found: primarily INSHORE fish, although adult fish spawn OFFSHORE where the ribbon-like larval stage of the fish can be found.

Size: most angler catchs 40 to 50 pounds.

*Florida Record: 243 lbs.

Remarks: slow grower; matures at 7 to 13 years of age; spawning occurs between May and September; female may lay more than 12 million eggs; can tolerate wide range of salinity; juveniles commonly found in fresh water; can breathe air at surface; feeds mainly on fish and large crustaceans.

* The Florida records quoted are from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's printed publication, Fishing Lines and are not necessarily the most current ones. The records are provided as only as a benchmark.

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