YouTube member FishForward posted this rare footage of bonefish spawning offshore in the Bahamas.
“During a recent expedition to The Bahamas, Dr. Andy Danylchuk (UMass Amherst), Dr. Aaron Adams (Bonefish & Tarpon Trust/Florida Institute of Technology), Dr. Jon Shenker (Florida Institute of Technology), and Zack Jud (Florida International University) reconfirmed that bonefish form massive spawning aggregations at very specific locations during specific lunar days. Using manual tracking and depth sensors, they also documented that bonefish use depths of greater than 160 feet (50m) when spawning, after which they return quickly to shallow water. Collectively, this work will help identify sites throughout the Bahamas and elsewhere in Florida and the Caribbean where bonefish spawn and that need protection from habitat disturbance and overfishing,” says FishForward in the video description.
This offshore footage in a great indicator of healthy bonefish populations back on the flats.
Florida Sportsman Editor-in-Chief Karl Wickstrom comments: “Bonefish muds” and pre-spawning aggregations of other species, such as mullet and redfish, are frequent sights on healthy flats and other waters. The muds make easy targets, too easy really, though hook and line fishing normally does not disrupt them. What does disrupt them are run-around gill nets that encircle and take virtually whole schools at a time. Fortunately, the gill nets were outlawed in Florida and many other states.