April 01, 2023
By Florida Sportsman Staff
After years of stringent regulations on snook, which might be getting even more complicated soon with 10 new proposed management zones, the newest species of snook may be the answer to all of Florida's burning problems.
Current regulations for snook include:
Atlantic: 28"-32" slot length, closed season from Dec. 15-Jan. 31 and June 1-Aug. 31, and a bag limit of 1 per harvester per day with zero captain and crew for-hire limit.
Gulf, Monroe County & Everglades National Park: 28"-33" slot length, closed season from Dec. 1-end of February and May 1-Aug. 31 and the same bag limits as the Atlantic.
Keeping up with developing regulation changes can sometimes leave your head spinning! In comes the Centropomus lirpaloof. The new snook species, discovered just last month by an anonymous St. Lucie County angler, has the most unusual characteristics that scientists believe arose from a dwindling natural food supply as well as the introduction of algae and invasive plantlife into our waterways and has influenced C. lirpaloof to develop a peculiar diet regimen.
Florida's Evolving Snook Species
But why should anglers care about this? Well, C. lirpaloof has an accelerated growth rate, reaching a whopping 28 inches in their first year, but due to the lack of calcium and protein in their chosen diet, they can only reach up to 33 inches in length when full grown making them an uncannily perfect slot-sized fish. While other species like the fat, swordspine and tarpon snook differ distinctly in appearance, the C. lirpaloof differs in their high-fiber diet. After further studies, shocked scientists revealed C. lirpaloof is believed to be the world's first 100% vegan fish species and is hypothesized to munch on algae, berries and invasive plants. Completely by choice.
FWC researchers were astounded by the results of the necropsy, reporting, "The craziest part about it is, their organs and appearance aren't any different from a common snook. It almost seems as if they're changing their diet to eat cleaner." The lead scientist continues, "They do tend to maintain a lower weight due to their meal preferences, so we've nicknamed it the 'skinny snook'."
Even more surprising, the skinny snook also hibernates during the coldest and hottest months of the year, conveniently coinciding with closed seasons, to better regulate temperature and maintain low body weight through extended fasting. They prepare for their semiannual slumbers with a week of cold therapy and freshwater cleanses.
FWC has also proposed classifying the new species into 10 subspecies categories, each of which will require a separate regional C. lirpaloof snook stamp throughout Central and South Florida, ringing in at $54 for residents and $200 for non-residents. There have also been talks of introducing skinny snook to locations with high levels of invasive plant species and frequent algal blooms to alleviate the need to use pesticides, resulting in a more organic and sustainable local fishery for all. In these areas, yet to be determined, the species will be protected and unable to be harvested. FWC is scheduling a new statewide round of public hearings to present stock data and solicit public comments on options A, B, C, and D, with alternatives and submenus ii, iiv, and xiv as listed in the formal abstracts published recently by the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute evaluating management objectives for C. lirpaloof, ss.
Fishing for Skinny Snook
Want to catch one for yourself? The species seems to be most attracted to “holistic” baits such as berry flies, essential oil-infused jigs, multi-vitamins and vegan bread balls. You can also chum with shredded tofu and quinoa, or "whatever you have at home!"
The anonymous angler disclosed, "I had actually dropped my chickpea, spinach and potato curry lettuce wrap (link in bio for the full recipe) into the water and I saw this fish dart out from the depths and absolutely hammered it. She tore it up!" She continues, "I immediately grabbed my favorite vegan gluten-free coconut and flax seed granola bar, use discount code CLEANEATS for 10% off, mashed it into a ball around the hook and let it sink. BAM! The rest is history."
After getting the specimen boatside, she knew something was different about this fish. "She really had a glow about her. Just so radiant and energetic! I've never seen anything like it." Even though the skinny snook appears nearly identical to the common snook, one can be easily identified. It will just tell you it’s vegan and why you should be too. That’s when you know it’s a lirpaloof!
Be honest, we had you in the first half. April 1st is a day to take the world a little less seriously. We hope you got a chuckle or two, out of this. Now go spread the joy and have a happy April Fools'! Stay salty, sportsmen and women.