Fisherman Utilization Of Tilapia Aurea (Steindachner) In Lake Parker, Lakeland, Florida

Tilapia aurea, blue tilapia (Smith-Vaniz, 1968) were brought to Florida in 1961. Verification of this species in Lake Parker occurred five years later. Since this time, they have reached a concentration which provides a unique fishery. Parker, a 2,291 acre lake located in Lakeland, Florida, was creeled for a year to determine fisherman utilization of blue tilapia. Harvest by baited hook was significant only three months of the period. This species comprised over 40 per cent of the total harvest six months of the year, after legalization of cast netting and snatch hooking. Success by these methods was correlated with two, seasonal factors; spring spawning activity and warm water outflow from an electrical power plant in winter months. This does not indicate that 'Pilapia aurea is an additional sport fishery, but rather a food fish that can be significantly harvested only by special methods.

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