Monday, July 6

Really Big, and Really Old, Grouper Caught off Southwest Florida

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If you think you’ve ever caught a big grouper, take a look at this one. It weighs in at 350 pounds. It’s also the oldest Warsaw Grouper ever recorded; biologists from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission estimate it’s about 50 years old.

The huge, old grouper was caught in 600 feet of water off Southwest Florida with a hook and line. The largest Warsaw grouper ever caught in Florida was about 440 pounds.

Warsaw groupers have an elongated second dorsal spine. They are the only grouper with 10 dorsal spines; the others have 11.

Biologists with the commission’s Wildlife Research Institute measured the grouper’s otolith to determine its age. The otolith is the hard structure behind the brain. It helps a fish hear and maintain balance. “Acquiring the otolith from this fish was extremely valuable as samples from larger and older fish are rare,” the institute wrote in a statement.

Warsaw groupers can grow to 7.5 feet and weigh as much as 580 pounds. They usually swim in depths from 180 to 1,700 feet. Read more:





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