FEW FISH CAN MATCH A TARPON’S acrobatics, strength and stamina. With skills that have evolved over millions of years while surviving a range of drastic climate changes, the mighty silver king can stem the strongest tides, elude fearless predators and overtake hapless prey with ease. However, widespread changes in their populations and movements signal significant issues throughout the coastal landscape of Florida and beyond.
Although a catch-and-release fishery in many regions of the world, tarpon populations face many challenges and represent a significant adversary to marine biologists and anglers alike. Though careful preservation continues, the future of this ultimate sport fish is now uncertain in some of the most prominent and fabled fishing locations as a result of habitat degradation and declining water quality. However, there is an area of Florida in the northeast corner of the Gulf of Mexico that has remained relatively unchanged over the years thanks to the tireless efforts of willing landowners and private stakeholders who know conservation and preservation as a way of life.