The Dauphin Island Sea Lab once again teamed up with the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo in the name of marine science.
Students from Dr. Sean Powers, Dr. Will Patterson, Dr. Alison Robertson, and Dr. Marcus Drymon labs, technicians and interns sampled more than 1,100 fish during the three day rodeo.
Along with the fish sampling, DISL Fisheries Ecology Lab Manager Crystal Hightower and PhD student Reid Nelson led the live weigh-in for red drum and speckled trout. This was the second year for the live weigh-in.
"The live weigh-in was way more successful than we ever anticipated," Hightower said. "Last year was just speckled trout, and people brought in red drum. This year was red drum and speckled trout and people brought in tripletail."
Hightower and Nelson tagged 71 fish: 31 red drum, 36 speckled trout and 4 tripletail. The majority of the red drum were tagged with acoustic tags.
"Monday we went out and downloaded the hydrophones in the bay, and we've already heard back from four of those tagged fish," Hightower said.
The lionfish category was new to the rodeo with one of the two boats participating bringing in 304 lionfish. The Mobile County Sheriff's Office Flotilla tank gave rodeogoers a chance to see the fish participating in the live weigh-in.
Along with the scientists and students on the docks, the BayMobile was parked alongside the weigh station.
The Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo is one of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab's largest fish sampling events and biggest outreach for fisheries science.