All Tarpon belong to Just One Family

Tarpon: One Big—Really Big—Family

Your mother’s brother’s uncle’s cousin. BTT photo

This week Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT) shared the results from its two-year Tarpon Genetic Program that, thanks to the efforts of anglers, guides, lodges, and researchers, saw more than 23,000 scale samples collected from across the world. Nice work people.

That pile of tarpon body armor provided a massive dataset for researchers studying how many distinct tarpon populations actually exist. And according to Dr. Liz Wallace, the long-awaited answer is:

One.

“The overall level of genetic diversity in the Atlantic tarpon indicated high levels of gene flow (mixing over generations through interbreeding) across the entire region,” she writes. “Fish from Virginia to Louisiana and all…

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