Tarpon, Snook and Redfish guide - Light tackle and fly fishing charters with
Florida fishing guide Capt. Mark Bennett - tarpon genetics - tarpon research
Tarpon Genetic Recapture Study
In the three years that I was tagging (DNA
sampling) tarpon I easily dominated the competition. Tagging and releasing
more adult tarpon than anyone, anywhere in the world. I only tagged tarpon
I caught in the Boca Grande/Charlotte Harbor area. I set a record in 2009
for tagging 147 tarpon in one season. Since the program started in 2005,
previously no one had ever even come close to this number in one season.
Only one person ever broke 100, even then just barely. In 2010, I tagged
148. April through July 2011, I tagged 165 at which point I ceased to tag
tarpon for the remainder of the season.
Even stopping early, in July, I still tagged
more tarpon than anyone on the West Coast of Florida and more adult tarpon than
anyone anywhere in the world.
Probably due to lack
of results and lack of ethics of the people running
it, the Tarpon Genetic Recapture Program was ended
by the FWC, FWRI and Mote Marine.
For unbiased, up to date and intriguing tarpon
research check out the satellite tag (PAT) data from the Bonefish and Tarpon
Trust at the link below.
Now this is research!
Instead of endorsing the
unnecessary killing of tarpon these guys are working hard to stop it.
I first heard of the Tarpon Genetic Recapture
Program in March '09. I was browsing the Florida Wildlife Research
Institute's website. I was interested in the findings of the past and
thought I could help out by tagging a lot of tarpon that upcoming season.
What really got my attention was they
were keeping track of how many samples each guide/fisherman obtained. This
was a way to FINALLY show who caught the most tarpon over an entire season.
Some of the best tarpon guides from all over the state are already involved.
Any and all naysayers are invited to participate.
Put up or shut up...What a
How do you get a DNA
Sample from a tarpon?
Essentially, when a tarpon is
boat side, I grab the leader in one hand and the fish by the lower jaw.
Then I rub a piece of scotch-brite pad on the side of his upper jaw. Then
the pad is placed into a small vial that is index numbered by the FWRI.
Lastly, I record all of the pertinent information about the fish size, weight,
capture location etc.
That is a little easier said
than done. First and foremost a photo for my client with his or her fish
is my number one priority. Secondly, holding onto a less than happy fish
with your hands that weighs over 100 pounds is not that easy to begin with.
Then adding scrubbing his face with a scotch-brite pad. It tends to make
them a bit perturbed to say the least. During the course of the season if
I got samples off of 50% of the tarpon we landed I felt good about it.
The numbers are in and it is official!
Actual numbers from the 2011
season were withheld by the FWRI for some unknown reason.
One of the many mysteries I
have become used to from the FWRI.
My guess is Kathy got tired of
me kicking her old man's ass year after year...lol
Below are the numbers from
2009 and 2010.
June 2010 Tarpon Challenge Results
Hello Tarpon DNA
We are also
pleased to announce that Capt. Mark Bennett is the winner of
annual Markett Tarpon Challenge for 2010.
Capt. Mark Bennett
has claimed this honor for the second consecutive year-by
collecting 95 samples during the months of May and June.
We have included
the May-June Top Ten list for your review:
Capt. Mark Bennett –
Tie -- Capt. Gary Maconi
and Capt. Paul D’Antonio – 77 each
Capt. Jeff Hagaman – 39
Tie -- Jeff Owens and
Capt. Tom Stephens – 37 each
Capt. Skip Neilson – 36
Capt. Jay Withers – 34
Capt. Jeff Malone – 32
Tie -- Capt. Carl Ball
and Capt. Dave Markett – 30 each
- East Central, FL
Capt. Mark Bennett - Boca Grande/Charlotte Harbor, FL
Capt. Paul D'Antoni - Key West, FL
Capt. Carl Ball - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Capt. Ed Walker - Boca Grande, FL
Capt. Gary Maconi - Key West, FL
Capt. Skip Nielsen - Islamorada, FL
Capt. Jeff Malone - Duck Key, FL
Capt. Francisco Rosario - Puerto Rico
Capt. Robert McCue - Tampa Bay/Boca Grande, FL
06 April 2009|
speaker at the
meeting was FWC
asked for the
samples. A lot
of FGA guides
the program but
they need more.
week after a
Kathy, FGA West
Coast VP, Capt.
No Way any other
working guide is
gonna' out tag
me this May and
June ." He went
on to say, "In
fact, I'll throw
gauntlet and say
I'll beat em'
all in May and
June - if I
don't then I'll
deliver a bottle
of the winner's
to that winner
can quote me on
Well folks, that
sounds like a
challenge to me.
I have some
friends who are
and they don't
all live on the
samples from all
over the state
and I think
she's gonna' get
em' because this
with this Tarpon
research. If you
catch a tarpon
take the sample
and send it in.
Use the contact
below to obtain
your easy to use
DNA is the fish
tag of the
science and DNA
DNA samples you
provide from any
tarpon you catch
can provide a
The technique is
less invasive to
It is less
costly to tag
this jaw scrape
tags that can
break, foul, or
fall out of the
fish and the FWC-Fish
the ability to
in house (St.
Finally, DNA is
a tag that lasts
Capt. Dave Markett’s Tarpon Challenge Ends and a
The numbers are in and it is official!
Capt. Dave Markett of the
Florida Guide Association presented a challenge that he would not be
out-sampled in May / June 2009 and so be it. Capt. Dave
returned a whopping, most impressive, total of 37 official tarpon DNA
… on July 16th…one
day before the deadline…
…a UPS overnight
arrived from Charlotte
Harbor and Capt. Mark Bennett – a newcomer to the Tarpon Genetic
Recapture Study in 2009 – mailed in a box with “an astonishing 60
tarpon samples” from May and June. The quote comes from Michelle
Davis, our genetics technician, who did the official counting and
verifications of samples taken with full capture information. Capt.
Dave, it’s true, there were 60.
So, Capt. Dave, I am
afraid you owe Capt.
Mark Bennett a bottle of his favorite spirits.
THANK YOU ALL!
Top 10 from the
May/June Tarpon Challenge:
Capt. Mark Bennett-60
Capt. Dave Markett-37 Jeff
Capt. Jeff Hagaman-26 Capt. Tom
John Manuel-17 Carl
Ball-15 Clark Nash-15
Tarpon anglers, do
not despair. A
has been put forth from a Florida artist to keep the tarpon momentum moving
challenge you as anglers to help preserve our fisheries by participating in
this program. The angler who brings in the most samples will receive a
'Silver King' print,"
artist Richard Powers.
Mr. Powers will
present a wonderful, signed and framed leaping tarpon 18” x 24” print to the
person who samples and returns the most tarpon DNA during July and August
2009. This challenge is for anyone sampling tarpon, anywhere, any
size! All DNA scrapes must be returned by Sept. 18th
to qualify for this challenge.
The Tarpon Genetics Team
Here are the top 5
samplers for Florida in July/August 2009.
Assistant Research Scientist
FWC - Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
100 8th Ave. SE
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Can you imagine catching
nearly 150 tarpon in 6 months?
By Capt. Ron Presley
tarpon angler in Florida has not only
caught and released nearly 150 tarpon, he also tagged them using DNA
sampling techniques. Samples are collected by recreational anglers and processed
by the folks at FWRI.
The numbers reported below report the top ten anglers who turned in samples
between January 1, 2009 and October 31, 2009.
The Tarpon Genetic Recapture Study gives anglers the opportunity to make a
direct impact on state-of-the-art research. Anglers statewide can collect a DNA
sample by removing a few skin cells from the outside of a tarpon’s jawbone using
an abrasive pad provided in a free sampling kit. The tarpon can be any size.
Top Ten 2009 Tarpon DNA Samplers for Florida are:
Capt. Mark Bennett 147
Jon Mallory 136
Capt. Ed Walker 119
Capt. Robert McCue 86
Capt. John Manuel 70
Capt. Raymond Baird 63
Capt. Roy Bennett 56
Lee Roberts 50
Jeff Owens 49
Capt. Dave Markett 37
For Information and
Email or give me a call,
I am always available to discuss your trip.
Capt. Mark Bennett
Tarpon, Snook and Redfish guide -
Light tackle and fly fishing charters with Florida fishing guide Capt. Mark
tarpon genetic recapture study
tarpon genetics - tarpon research