TAMPA, Fla. — Anglers and fishing enthusiasts alike can make a quick $50 from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission if they hand over any cobia caught.
A Facebook post from the government agency explains researchers are looking to sample the reproductive organs of harvested cobia.
When an angler donates a harvested cobia, they'll be given $50 for helping researchers "collect valuable information by sampling harvested cobia’s reproductive organs to determine if and where they spawn along Florida’s coasts."
"It’s as simple as that, folks. If you caught ‘em, we want ‘em, and we’ll even throw in a $50 bounty!" leaders with FWC wrote in the post.
Anyone who catches a cobia will have to contact a biologist for them to come out, collect the fish and give out the money reward. Contact information for the biologists are:
- Southeast Florida (Ft. Lauderdale-Sebastian): 561-510-5620
- Southwest Florida (Naples-St. Petersburg): 727-220-7108
- Northwest Florida (St. Petersburg-Steinhatchee): 727-685-7354
When the cobia is caught, they have to be kept whole or filleted carcass with organs intact on ice.
"If you catch a tagged cobia, we ask that you do not harvest it," FWC leaders explain in the post. "Instead, please support our work by taking a picture of the tag and reporting the following information to the phone number for your region: tag number, fork length, date, and general location of the catch."
The data involving the cobia is part of a three-year project to understand the reproductive habits off Florida’s coast better, according to the agency.
To read more about the ongoing cobia research, click here.