The St. Johns River, Florida Freshwater Striped Mullet Gill Net Fishery: Catch Composition, Status, and Recommendations

A 3-year study was initiated in 1992 to characterize the St. Johns River freshwater commercial striped mullet (Mugil cephalus) gill net fishery and estimate bycatch. Each year in fresh water, an estimated 137 fishers using 84 boats fished 1,554 days and harvested 233,109 kg of striped mullet. Approximately 86% of the fishers used the strike technique exclusively, while 14% used both strike and set-net techniques. Striped mullet comprised 99% of the total catch by number. The average annual freshwater game fish bycatch ranged from 86 to 274 fish (< 1 % by number). The extremely low bycatch would obviously have no negative impact on game fish populations in a system as large as the St. Johns River.

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