Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Florida
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Florida Project

Assessing angler opinions and perceptions about non-native freshwater fishes in Florida

July 2021 - June 2024


Participating Agencies

  • FWC

More non-native freshwater fish species have been found in Florida than any other state. These introductions often present major challenges to resource management agencies, although some non-native fishes support socioeconomically valuable fisheries that benefit anglers and fisheries managers alike. For instance, in south Florida, popular fisheries have developed for species such as Peacock Bass, Clown Knifefish, Oscar, and Mayan Cichlid. However, in other parts of the state, non-native fishes such as Pterygoplichthys spp. cause bank erosion and destabilization and associated economic and aesthetic costs. Overall, human perceptions of non-native fishes in Florida are likely to be highly variable, yet this subject has scarcely been investigated, much less used to inform fisheries management in the state. The purpose of this project is to develop and disseminate survey instruments to gauge opinions of anglers and the general public about non-native freshwater fishes throughout the state of Florida.