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Exotics boost Florida economy.

Socioeconomic Factors' the first exotic species documented in Florida was the common carp, in 1877, stocked by the U.S. Fish Commission. Since then, another 22 species have become established there. About 14 additional tropical species have been eliminated by periodic cold snaps.

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While some species are considered a nuisance, many provide excellent fishing opportunities, including butterfly peacock bass, Mayan cichlids, Oscars, and bullseye snakehead. In Southeast Florida, an economic analysis indicated peacocks supported a fishery with economic benefits of $11 million.

Another evaluation, done at the L-67A canal, found high angler catch rates: Mayan cichlids, 9 per hour; Oscars, 4 per hour; and peacock bass, 2 per hour. Twenty-two percent of fishing pressure was for exotics. Meanwhile, catch rates of largemouths remained excellent at two per hour. Anglers traveled long distances to fish that canal, and expenditures exceeded $3 million.

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Title Annotation:Bits & Pieces
Author:Quinn Steve
Publication:In-Fisherman
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U5FL
Date:May 1, 2012
Words:145
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