Tarpon

client holding a about to be release healthy large tarpon caught on spinning tackle near Sarasota Florida

Tarpon Habitat

The Atlantic tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) inhabits coastal waters, estuaries, lagoons, and rivers. tarpons feed almost exclusively on schooling fish and occasionally crabs. Tarpon are capable of filling their swim bladder with air, like a primitive lung. This gives the tarpon a predatory advantage when oxygen levels in the water are low.  The Atlantic tarpon is also known as the silver king.

The Atlantic tarpon is found in the Atlantic Ocean, typically in tropical and subtropical regions, though it has been reported as far north as Nova Scotia and the Atlantic coast of southern France, and as far south as Argentina. As with all Elopiformes, it is found in coastal areas; Its diet includes small fish and crustaceans.

Spawning

Tarpon’s Spawning behavior, remains as one of the most unknown variable of the equation, while it is, of the most important.  Protection of spawning sites is vital to maintaining the tarpon fishery. We know that spawning occurs in late spring through summer, and the limited information available suggests that tarpon spawn over 100 miles offshore.