USGS Conducts Non-Native Fish Slam in Florida

09 Nov, 2019

One team’s varied catch of non-native fish found in South Florida waterways during a 2018 Fish Slam event.

One team’s varied catch of non-native fish found in South Florida waterways during a 2018 Fish Slam event.

via US Geological Survey (USGS)

This week USGS scientists are in three Florida counties, Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach, leading experts in the semi-annual Fish Slam, a scientific scavenger hunt for non-native freshwater fishes. Biologists and natural resource managers from USGS, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and several universities and museums are working in teams to sample freshwater bodies using nets, traps, seines, hook and line, and electrofishing (which temporarily stun the fish so they are easier to catch). The two-day Fish Slam event helps monitor new non-natives and documents the possible expansion of known non-native fish species.

A Mayan cichlid collected in a 2019 Fish Slam event in Indian River and St. Lucie counties.

A Mayan cichlid collected in a 2019 Fish Slam event in Indian River and St. Lucie counties.

All non-native fishes collected during Fish Slams are recorded in the USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species database, and select specimens are preserved and sent to the Florida Museum, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Florida Atlantic University and other museums and academic institutes, where scientists use them for research purposes. Learn more about Fish Slam: http://ow.ly/c9wF50x5emH

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Editor’s Note: As always, stories like this serve as a constant reminder to never, ever, release unwanted fish and pets into the wild. Talk to your local fish stores and aquarium clubs as most are quite willing to help rehome unwanted fish.

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About the author

Reef To Rainforest
Reef To Rainforest

Reef to Rainforest Media, LLC is the publisher of award-winning magazines and books in the fields of aquarium keeping, aquatics, and marine science. It is the English-language publisher of CORAL Magazine and is based in Shelburne, Vermont, USA.

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