Pages Navigation Menu

Sport Fish Restoration in a Fish Tank

You don’t have to be a fishing enthusiast to be interested in The Pier Aquarium’s Counting on Fish and Focus on Fish exhibits. Fish are very important to us. Not only do they add to the natural beauty of our ocean environment, fish are an important economic industry.
Many who live in the Tampa Bay region rely on the abundance of fish to make their living in one way or another. Many who live here do research to keep our fish stocks healthy and abundant. Many of us who live here enjoy fishing and boating activities. Living here would not be the same without out fish.

Counting on Fish tells the story behind the importance of sport and commercial fish, how their existence serves as an economic and scientific driver for the region and state and how research ensures the sustainability and stability of this industry and can lead to the development of new products.

The exhibit features a 350 gallon/1,325 liter tank with a replicated hard bottom, oyster bed and mangrove habitats and fish that support much of our commercial and recreational fisheries: Red Drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), Common Snook (Centropomus undecimalis), Spotted Seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus), Mangrove Snapper (Lutjanus griseus), Gulf Flounder (Paralichthys albigutta), sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus) and catfish. The display offers an easy way to learn fish identification.

One of the tank inhabitants, Red Drum, is an interesting sport fish. They have a life span of 40+ years and can weigh up to 51 lbs. at an impressive length of 45 inches, which makes it a fun sport fish to land and brag about. Some of our Red Drum might be “missing” the spot on its tail. Spotless tails occasionally occur with fish reproduced through hatchery programs.

The Common Snook has a very distinct lateral line that many people describe as a racing stripe. It’s a fish that has the capability of traveling at blazing speeds. The record for a Florida Snook is 44 lbs. 3 oz. However, most catches are usually much smaller, between 5-8 lbs. Snook cannot tolerate water below 60 degrees and they are euryhaline, which means they can tolerate a wide range of salinities. In fact, Snook will even be found in a completely freshwater environment.

Visitors can point at the Counting on Fish large Smart Pad touch screen to read more than 60 interactive pages that include video links. They can read about the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Sport Fish Restoration Program and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) projects that will improve fishing and boating activities around the state and maintain healthy fish population. They can learn and better understand the different regulations for various species, such as size and bag limits.
Child-friendly components include a “Discovery Cube” that has a fish-measuring table, fun, fish ID panels and a bait hooking station. Framed illustrations by nationally-known St. Petersburg wildlife artist Diane Rome Peebles round out the exhibit. Named Artist of the Year by the American Fisheries Society in 1995, Ms. Peebles’ s artwork has appeared on the covers of sport fishing magazines, marine conservation stamps and prints and educational publications produced by several state governments.

Counting on Fish is made possible by grants from Sport Fish Restoration, NOAA Fisheries, Fish Florida Foundations and JMC Communities.

Cincopa WordPress plugin


  1. I recently arrived across your write-up and have been examining along. I wish to express my admiration of your crafting skill and ability to make site visitors read from the commencing to the end. I would like to read newer posts and to write about my thoughts with you.

    • Clearwater Beach, Florida has the best Salt water fishing giedud tours around. Guranteed to have a blast, take Beer with you and enjoy catching fish.When you return your fish is cleaned for you and packed in ice in your cooler.I have been twice and you keep everything you can handle. We brought back three coolers full of Spanish Mackarel and fill my upright freezer till the next trip in about 12 months.All of my fish fry’s localy are great and I even conrtibute to organizations to help them oout.To cut the costs, I take orders before I go and it pays for half my trip.God cannot deduct a Man’s life from fishing:)

  2. Very interesting information!Perfect just what I was looking for!

  3. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already ;) Cheers!

  4. I simply want to tell you that I am all new to blogging and actually liked this page. Probably I’m want to bookmark your website . You absolutely have impressive article content. Thanks a lot for sharing with us your website.

  5. Found this on MSN and I’m happy I did. Well written article.

  6. Hello! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the superb work!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>