Your Next Seatrout Catch Could Net You $100

Tagged speckled trout along Florida’s Nature Coast are valuable to researchers and they want to pay you if you catch one.

Tagged seatrout
Researchers attach a yellow tag to this seatrout before release.Courtesy Nature Coast Biological Station

A good day's catch isn't the product of just luck and hard effort, but also the result of years of stewardship to preserve an environment where fish and fishers can thrive. Graduate students, as part of the Nature Coast Biological Station, are tagging seatrout to help better manage natural resources along the Florida Gulf coast from Wakulla to Hernando counties.

"By compiling data on when and where seatrout are caught, we can estimate fishing's effects on the population," says Jack Payne, University of Florida's senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources and leader of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. "That's crucial information for natural resource managers charged with maintaining a robust population so you can come back next year – and so your kids can come back with their kids a generation from now."

Any angler who catches one of the tagged seatrout along the Nature Coast, call the number on the yellow tag and claim a gift card worth $100.

“You’ll be providing us with the data we need to inform management of our waters,” says Payne. “We want science on the Nature Coast to be a community effort. That’s why we’ve hired local boat captains to take our researchers out on the water.”

To send your questions, volunteer or donate to the Nature Coast Biological Station, reach out to the station's director, Mike Allen, at 352-294-0886 or his email address.