This grouper caught off the coast of Florida is as big as an NFL offensive lineman.
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A big old fish! This 350-lb Warsaw grouper was caught by hook-and-line on December 29th 2019, off Southwest Florida in ~600 ft of water. Biologists from FWRI’s Age & Growth Lab estimated the age of this fish at 50 years old, making this the oldest sample collected for our ageing program. Acquiring the otolith from this fish was extremely valuable as samples from larger and older fish are rare. Warsaw are characterized by an elongated second dorsal spine. They’re the only grouper with 10 dorsal spines; all others have 11. Although adults usually occur in depths of 180-1700 ft, juveniles are occasionally seen around jetties and shallow-water reefs in the northern Gulf. FWC does not encourage the targeting of Warsaw grouper since the status of the population in the Gulf is unknown. #fwcresearch #warsawgrouper #otoliths #ageandgrowth #50yearsold #grouper #fwc