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fish_id2

fish_id2

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Published by: Jon on May 08, 2010
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01/23/2013

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One of the most intriguing aspects of Florida marine fishing is the constantrepetition of the question, “What is it?”Rare indeed is the angler who, at sometime during a fishing trip, doesn’t catch afish that must be examined closely todetermine its species.Small wonder. Our waters have morethan 1,000 species of marine fish, mostof them edible and all of theminteresting. Of those, more than 40 aresufficiently important for their harvest tobe regulated. Six species have game fishstatus (redfish, snook, tarpon, bonefish,sailfish, and permit over 20 inches inlength), meaning that they may not besold.Learning to identify fish is afascinating study in itself and is a matterof importance to the angler;misidentification of fish can lead tofisheries violations.Included in the following listing are114 fish commonly caught by anglers inFlorida. They are grouped into Familiesas listed in the American FisheriesSociety publication, “Common andScientific Namesof Fishes.”
1
Total length
2
Fork length
3
Standard length
4
Head length
5
Snout length
6
Caudal peduncle (where the body attaches to the tail)
7
Fin rays, spinous (unsegmented) and soft (segmented)
8
First (spinous) dorsal fin
9
Second (soft) dorsal fin
10
Pectoral fin
11
Pelvic (ventral) fin
12
Anal fin
13
Finlet
14
Caudal (tail) fin
15
Lateral fin
16
Scutes (bone-like projections)
17
Opercle (gill cover)
18
Preopercle (cheek)
19
Interopercle
20
Adipose eyelid
21
Supramaxilla (rear portion of upper jaw bone)
22
Premaxilla (forward portion of upper jaw bone)
Description:
the details most readily observed have been given top priority, sincethe angler has only moments to decide whether a fish is or is not a legal catch.Fin-ray counts are supplied when essential.
Similar Fish:
many fish have “look-alikes,” other fish that resemble them closely.In such instances, the most readily seen differences are given.
Where Found:
although the ocean has no fences, many fish are locked intoparticular habitats, information that often tells the angler where to drop the hook.
Size:
anglers usually judge the size of a fish by its weight, which simplifiesrecordkeeping. Scientists use length, since age/length relationships are morereliable than age/weight. Both would agree, however, that king mackerelcommonly exceed 20 pounds in weight. The Florida records quoted are from thecooperative effort between the Department of Environmental Protection and theInternational Game Fish Association.
Remarks:
this includes the fish’s life history (if known), behavior; andfeeding habits.
Organization of the Fish Identification Section
1
Bluefish .................................... 13Bonefish ................................... 5Bonnethead shark ..................... 4Cero.......................................... 35Cobia ........................................ 13Common snook......................... 7Crevalle jack............................. 15Cubera snapper......................... 19Dog snapper.............................. 20Dolphin..................................... 37Fantail mullet ........................... 33Fat snook .................................. 7Florida pompano....................... 16Gafftopsail catfish .................... 32Gag........................................... 10Grass porgy .............................. 25Gray snapper ............................ 20Gray triggerfish ........................ 24Great barracuda ........................ 34Greater amberjack .................... 14Gulf flounder.............................31Gulf kingfish ............................ 30Gulf menhaden ......................... 6Hardhead catfish....................... 32Hogfish..................................... 23Horse-eye jack.......................... 17Jewfish ..................................... 9Jolthead porgy .......................... 25King mackerel .......................... 35Knobbed porgy ......................... 25Ladyfish ................................... 4Lane snapper ............................ 20Leatherjacket ............................ 18Lesser amberjack...................... 14Little tunny............................... 36Littlehead porgy........................ 26Longbill spearfish..................... 37Lookdown ................................ 17Mahogany snapper ................... 21Mutton snapper......................... 21Nassau grouper......................... 10Palometa................................... 15Permit....................................... 16Pigfish ...................................... 27Pinfish ...................................... 26Queen snapper .......................... 21Red drum ................................. 28Red grouper.............................. 11Red porgy ................................. 24Red snapper.............................. 22Rock sea bass ........................... 9Round scad ............................... 16Sailfish.......................................38Sand perch................................ 12Sand seatrout ............................ 29Sandbar shark ........................... 2Scaled sardine........................... 6Scalloped hammerhead............. 3Scamp....................................... 11Schoolmaster ............................ 22Sheepshead............................... 24Shortfin mako........................... 2Silk snapper.............................. 22Silver perch .............................. 30Silver seatrout .......................... 29Southern kingfish ..................... 31Southern stingray...................... 4Spanish mackerel...................... 35Spanish sardine......................... 6Spot .......................................... 31Spottail pinfish ......................... 26Spotted seatrout........................ 29Striped (black) mullet............... 33Striped anchovy........................ 34Striped mojarra......................... 33Swordfish ................................. 37Swordspine snook..................... 8Tarpon snook ............................ 8Tarpon....................................... 5Tomtate......................................27Tripletail................................... 19Vermilion snapper..................... 23Wahoo ...................................... 36Warsaw grouper........................ 12Weakfish................................... 30White grunt .............................. 27White marlin............................. 38Yellowfin grouper..................... 11Yellowfin menhaden................. 7Yellowfin tuna .......................... 36Yellowmouth grouper ............... 12Yellowtail snapper .................... 23
Common Name Page
 Illustrations by:
Diane Rome Peebles
F
ISH
I
DENTIFICATION
S
ECTION
 
SHORTFIN MAKO - Isurus oxyrinchus
Family Lamnidae, MACKEREL SHARKS
Description:
lunate tail with similarly sized lobes; lateral keel at thebase of the tail; deep blue back and white underside;underside of sharply pointed snout white;origin of first dorsal entirely behind base of pectoral fins; second dorsal fin slightly infront of anal fin; slender, recurved teeth withsmooth edges.
Similar fish:
white shark,
Carcharodon carcharias
; longfinmako,
 Isurus paucus
.
Where found:
OFFSHORE fish often seen near the surface.
Size:
commonly 6 to 8 feet (200 to 300 pounds).
Remarks:
active, strong swimming fish known for leaping out of the water when hooked; feeds on mackerel, tuna,sardines, and some much larger fish.
Florida record:
911 lbs., 12 ozs.
 ATLANTIC SHARPNOSE SHARK - Rhizoprionodon terraenovae
Family Carcharhinidae, REQUIEM SHARKS
Description:
long and flattened snout; white trailing edge of pectoral;black-edged dorsal and caudal fins, especiallywhen young; may have small whitish spots onsides; furrows in lips at the corners of themouth; outer margin of teeth notched; seconddorsal fin originates over middle of anal fin; brown to olive-gray in color with white underside; slender body.
Similar fish:
other carcharhinids.
Where found:
INSHORE species, even found in surf; also common in bays and estuaries; adults occur OFFSHORE.
Size:
a small species, 2 to 4 feet.
Remarks:
mature adults between 2 to 2.75 feet long; 4-7 newborns range from 9 to 14 inches in length; adults feed onsmall fish and crustaceans.
SANDBAR SHARK - Carcharhinus plumbeus
Family Carcharhinidae, REQUIEM SHARKS
Description:
snout broadly rounded and short; first dorsal fintriangular and very high; poorly developed dermal ridgebetween dorsal fins; brown or gray in color withwhite underside; upper and lower teethfinely serrated.
Similar fish:
dusky shark,
Carcharhinusobscurus
; bull shark,
Carcharhinus leucas
.
Where found:
NEARSHORE fish typically found atdepths ranging from 60 to 200 feet.
Remarks:
both predator and scavenger, feeding chieflynear the bottom on fish and shellfish; migrates longdistances; matures at about 6 feet in length.
L  I    C  S  O  S  S  S  O I    O  S  S 
2
 
 BLACKNOSE SHARK - Carcharhinus acronotus
Family Carcharhinidae, REQUIEM SHARKS
Description:
distinctive dusky smudge at snout tip (more prominent in young); no dark tips onfins; pale olive-gray above, whitish below; 1st dorsal fin beginsabove rear corner of pectoral fin; no mid dorsalridge; upper teeth very asymmetrical, those towardfront coarsely serrated at base.
Size:
to 1.5 m (5 ft.).
Where found:
common in bays and lagoons.
 BLACKTIP SHARK - Carcharhinus limbatus
Family Carcharhinidae, REQUIEM SHARKS
Description:
dark bluish gray (young paler) above, whitish below;distinctive whitish stripe on flank; inside tip of pectoral finconspicuously black; dorsal fin, anal fin, and lowerlobe of caudal fin also black-tipped in young,fading with growth; 1st dorsal fin begins aboveaxil of pectoral fin; snout long, almost v-shaped frombelow; no mid dorsal ridge; upper and lower teethserrated, nearly symmetrical.
Size:
to 2.5 m (8.25 ft.).
Where found:
principally pelagic, but often comes inshore in largeschools, particularly in association with Spanish mackerel; frequently the most common shark (especially young) in clear-water cuts and along beaches in Florida and Bahamas.
Similar species:
in the Spinner Shark the 1st dorsal fin begins above a point behind the pectoral fin, and thesnout is longer.
SCALLOPED HAMMERHEAD - Sphyrna lewini
Family Sphyrnidae, HAMMERHEAD SHARKS
Description:
fifth gill slit shorter than 4 preceding ones and locatedposterior to pectoral fin base; flattened head extending to hammer-like lobes on each side; distinct indentation of the front marginof the head at its midpoint; second dorsal fin longer thantail; gray-brown to olive in color with whiteunderbelly; teeth smooth-edged; pectoral finstipped with black on the undersurface; tips of firstand second dorsal lobes and caudal also may havedusky tips; pelvic fin with nearly straight hind margin.
Similar fish:
other hammerhead sharks.
Where found:
both OFFSHORE and INSHORE.
Size:
common to 6 feet and can reach 14 feet.
Remarks:
predatory fish, feeding mainly on fish,squid, and stringrays; male matures at about 6 feet inlength.
Florida record:
991 lbs.
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