The roosterfish were biting hard during this year’s annual roosterfish tournament hosted by Tropic Star Lodge in Pinas Bay, Panama. Nine teams participated in the 3-day tournament including the research team “Pot Luck” made up Research Associate Ryan Logan from the Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI) and GHOF Project Manager Jessica Harvey. After the boat draw and complimentary fishing afternoon, Ryan presented the data from the 3 month pop-off tag deployed during last year’s tournament to the participating anglers. It was especially exciting for returning participants who’d been a part of the GHRI/GHOF roosterfish tagging program last year when it first began. Roosterfish are an understudied coastal pelagic predatory species found along the Pacific coast of Central and South America. GHRI and GHOF hope to better understand their basic ecology through this long-term tagging program. In 2017 a total of 82 roosterfish were tagged with spaghetti tags including one that was tagged with a PAT tag. The angler who tagged the most was awarded with a conservation prize.
During this year’s expedition, participating anglers tagged a total of 46 roosterfish, 42 during the tournament. Team Pot Luck tagged five of the large roosterfish with pop-off tags. Three tags are programed to last for 6 months and two for 3 months. The capture of the last roosterfish was documented by a Florida based production group Kelektive who hope to include it in a new show due to be aired on Discovery Channel in the near future! Bob Stewart from the Texan team “Dark Horses” was presented the conservation prize after tagging 6 fish. He and his teammate Bruce Wortham (who himself tagged 4 roosters) won the Roosterfish Tournament for the second year in a row.
The GHOF thanks all the visiting anglers and staff at Tropic Star Lodge for their assistance during this expedition!
The roosterfish tagging program is one of several GHOF/GHRI research projects due to take place out of Tropic Star Lodge. Stay tuned for updates on our website or social media outlets.