The Florida pompano (Trachinotus carolinus) is a species of marine fish in the Trachinotus (pompano) genus of the family Carangidae. It has a compressed body and short snout; coloration varies from blue-greenish silver on the dorsal areas and silver to yellow on the body and fins. It can be found along the western coast of the Atlantic Ocean, depending on the season, and is popular for both sport and commercial fishing. Most Florida pompano caught weigh less than 3 lb (1.4 kg) and are less than 17 in (43 cm) long, though the largest individuals weigh 8–9 lb (3.6–4.1 kg) and reach lengths up to 26 in (66 cm). *credit Wikipedia
Claude Peteet Mariculture Center
Gulf Shores, Alabama is the home of the Claude Peteet Mariculture Center. This facility is a fully functioning marine hatchery, which currently contains brood stock for redfish and pompano. The goal for this facility is to first, successfully breed each of the fish species. Second, harvest fertilized eggs. Third, hatch those fertilized eggs. Then, grow the juvenile fish up to 2″ in length. Last, release into the wild.
The Claude Peteet Mariculture center is a state owned marine hatchery that will be releasing hundreds of thousands of juvenile redfish and pompano each year. Once released these fish should mix with other native fish and directly impact Alabama’s native fish stocks. The hatchery has plans to add southern flounder, speckled trout, and oysters to the list of species they plan to release.
The Florida pompano has been in the center of attention for the next viable farm raised fish option. There are three main reasons why pompano have shown up in this discussion. One, they taste great. If you have never eaten pompano then you are missing out on a delicious fish. Two, they grow fast without having to modify genetics or introduce potentially harmful growth hormones. Third, the experts are able to grow and now successfully spawn these fish in an enclosed controlled system. Thus, giving fish farmers three great reasons to raise pompano. We also have a fourth reason. The fourth reason for the Claude Peteet center to grow and hatch pompano, is to help increase wild stocks of these sporty little game fish.
The Claude Peteet Mariculture center recently had its first successful pompano spawn and hatch. Hatchery manager Max Westendorf has cracked the code and is successfully growing, spawning and hatching pompano. They will hopefully release approximately 100,000 juvenile pompano to the Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan areas with in the next 4 weeks. Following this release they plan to have 4 consecutive pompano spawns spaced 8 weeks apart. This means the Claude Peteet Mariculture center will be a mean green pompano producing machine.
What is next
Now that the Mariculture center is successfully spawning both redfish and Florida pompano they need help from the local public for the next challenge. The next challenge is having a successful southern flounder hatch and release. How can you help? They need brood stock. Currently the mariculture center has 4 flounder and they would like to have at least 60 fish before beginning the next phase. Stay tuned for updates on this southern flounder project.
If your interested in catching your own pompano then specify that when requesting to book a fishing trip.