Mote Raises, Releases Red Drum Fish

Mote has successfully raised 20,000 red drum fish and plans to release all the fish in Sarasota and Charlotte Counties in Florida this month, with the goal of replenishing red drum populations that have been negatively affected by events such as cold stuns and Florida red tide. This effort represents the largest number of red drum produced in the program’s 25-year history for the purpose of fisheries conservation efforts.

With support from Salt Strong, Mote was able to produce and release its largest number of red drum yet, with fish that tip the scales at 6 to 10 in. long to boost survival of the stocked fish, enable monitoring of their post-release behavior, and help promote sustainable fisheries.

The species is one of Florida’s most popular sport fish and plays an important role in drawing recreational anglers to the state. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida is the top-ranked state in economic output from recreational fishing, which draws $13.8 billion to the economy annually. Saltwater fishing alone generates 67 percent—$9.2 billion—of that income.

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