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Murdering Invasive Blue Tilapia - Legal?

Have looked into this some in the past but am not sure if it is legal to murder blue tilapia and I'm not 100% sure they are detrimental to native species, probably 99% sure though. Pretty confused too because there's big support and FWC does a good job of getting the word out to kill snakeheads down in SFL, but there doesn't seem to be that sort of a campaign for Tilapia here in CFL

Would love to go postal with a bow on some at ponds where theres about fifteen million of them in there, but bowfishing ponds is another question with legality im sure.......could probably snag a bunch with a big treble hook

http://www.fpl.com/environment/exotic/blue_tilapia.shtml#TopOfPage

http://www.fpl.com/environment/exotic/exotic_and_invasive_species_index.shtml - Listed as an Invasive Species

"Blue Tilapia

Origin: Africa and Middle East

Impacts: The blue tilapia, established in almost all of central and south Florida, represents a significant threat to native ecosystems.

This fish competes with native fauna for spawning grounds, food, and extended habitat. Certain areas with dense tilapia populations are nearly devoid of vegetation and native fish.

The occurrence of blue tilapia drastically alters natural fish communities. This species is a great threat to the integrity of the Everglades National Park and other natural areas, where it is considered a major management problem for the National Park Service."
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Replies

  • RemoteRedsTroutRemoteRedsTrout Posts: 408 Deckhand
    But I'd imagine most of the Home Owners Associations would go apes%@* if they saw someone killing a bunch of fish in their pond.............
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  • mastercastermastercaster Posts: 1,259 Officer
    Most native species were invasive species at some point in
    time, leave them alone.
  • A-boltA-bolt Posts: 110 Officer
    there are not any regulations on them, and bowfishing is a legal fishing method, so I don't see a problem. Besides, they are pretty detrimental to most ecosystems. they spawn year round, and in the same places bass do. I have seen, in a couple ponds, a direct relationship between increased tilapia and decreased bass. cast net them, or snag them, and give the ones you won't eat fresh to the folks fishing the seawall on lake monroe.
  • RemoteRedsTroutRemoteRedsTrout Posts: 408 Deckhand
    Most native species were invasive species at some point in
    time, leave them alone.

    Good point................but I wouldn't apply that logic to snakeheads........
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  • ShallowExpectationsShallowExpectations Posts: 381 Deckhand
    I would suggest not going into neighborhoods with a bow.... Probably not going to get the reaction you're hoping for buddy.

    As for the tilapia...why not catch them on rod and reel. I use little crappie tube lures just tiny ones used for pan fish and an ultra light rod with 2pd test. Flip the jigs into their beds and drag it along. They are pretty OCD about keeping their beds clean so they will pick it up to move it out. When they pick it up set the hook. Its not a terrible fight either actually pretty fun on my walmart microlight that i bought specifically for tilapia. Certainly adds a bit of sport to it while not worrying people by running around with a bow. Now if your not in neighborhoods but on open lakes or rivers go ape **** on them. sink a boat with them I dont care.
  • xjbrian219xjbrian219 Posts: 8 Greenhorn
    catch you a whole mess of em and use em for bait...
  • RemoteRedsTroutRemoteRedsTrout Posts: 408 Deckhand
    I would suggest not going into neighborhoods with a bow.... Probably not going to get the reaction you're hoping for buddy.

    As for the tilapia...why not catch them on rod and reel. I use little crappie tube lures just tiny ones used for pan fish and an ultra light rod with 2pd test. Flip the jigs into their beds and drag it along. They are pretty OCD about keeping their beds clean so they will pick it up to move it out. When they pick it up set the hook. Its not a terrible fight either actually pretty fun on my walmart microlight that i bought specifically for tilapia. Certainly adds a bit of sport to it while not worrying people by running around with a bow. Now if your not in neighborhoods but on open lakes or rivers go ape **** on them. sink a boat with them I dont care.

    Hahaha oh i wasn't trying to say I was seriously going to go into neighborhoods with a bow, i'd love to though, would snag hook and kill them but don't think HOAs would like that.....

    i've gotta try that i haven't really tried catching them with a hook not sure why, have had a bigger one pick up my fluke and take it outta the bed but I had a size 2 J hook on I believe couldn't get it in its mouth, shoulda put on a 1/0 khale hook or something smaller woulda been a fun fight. ive only ever got small ones on bread fun fights on the ultralight
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  • RemoteRedsTroutRemoteRedsTrout Posts: 408 Deckhand
    Hmmm but because people bowfish for them and I don't think theres any limits, and i think they're considered invasive but not sure if that is a factor, i'd think i could snag hook and kill them in ponds...but i doubt many HOAs would like that. if they're as detrimental to native species especially in large numbers as i kind of think i hope FWC starts a campaign like there is for snakeheads
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  • ShallowExpectationsShallowExpectations Posts: 381 Deckhand
    Certainly should give fishing for them a try. They can be pretty spooky at times and if you have a good clear water pond its easy to sight fish them. Makes it pretty down right fun and keeps me busy up here at UCF. Caught them up to around 5 or 6 pounds which is pretty big for a tilapia from what I have seen.
  • TriplecleanTripleclean Posts: 6,591 Officer
    these fish you speak of, how do they eat?
  • ShallowExpectationsShallowExpectations Posts: 381 Deckhand
    The fish I speak of... I will keep them depending on the pond I find them in. Taste just like the ones you buy in the store
  • Austins26Austins26 Posts: 1,989 Captain
    good luck gettin rid if them... if the freeze a few years back couldn't wipe em out. all of us collectively with bows, nets, an electric shock couldn't either. back in the freeze I thought for sure everyone was killed. most of the lakes I checked had 10's of thousads dead at the waters edge. 3-4-5- foot high piles of them amazing they have already come back to the numbers I'm seeing.
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  • TriplecleanTripleclean Posts: 6,591 Officer
    Hmmm... thank you
  • RemoteRedsTroutRemoteRedsTrout Posts: 408 Deckhand
    Austins26 wrote: »
    good luck gettin rid if them... if the freeze a few years back couldn't wipe em out. all of us collectively with bows, nets, an electric shock couldn't either. back in the freeze I thought for sure everyone was killed. most of the lakes I checked had 10's of thousads dead at the waters edge. 3-4-5- foot high piles of them amazing they have already come back to the numbers I'm seeing.

    i wouldn't expect to wipe them all out, but would like to put a dent in the population....thats a good point though saw a ton of dead ones during that freeze a few years ago and there seems to be more than ever in those ponds nowadays. i just hope if they're anywhere near as detrimental to native fauna as snakeheads that FWC will step in.

    was interesting though, was at Alexander Springs the other day and in the past the head spring and the spring run have been loaded with tilapia. was surprised that i saw 0 at the head spring and maybe half a dozen in the spring run, i always see people bow hunting and snag hooking there...........but i'm sure the lake the run goes to is still chocked full of em
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  • CarnalSinCarnalSin Posts: 57 Deckhand
    Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't Tilapia great eating?
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    There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.
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  • Phantom309Phantom309 Posts: 53 Greenhorn
    $4.00-$6.00 lb @ supermarkets .......
    They're perfectly delicious = good as any other fish .......
  • RemoteRedsTroutRemoteRedsTrout Posts: 408 Deckhand
    i wouldn't expect to wipe them all out, but would like to put a dent in the population....thats a good point though saw a ton of dead ones during that freeze a few years ago and there seems to be more than ever in those ponds nowadays. i just hope if they're anywhere near as detrimental to native fauna as snakeheads that FWC will step in.

    was interesting though, was at Alexander Springs the other day and in the past the head spring and the spring run have been loaded with tilapia. was surprised that i saw 0 at the head spring and maybe half a dozen in the spring run, i always see people bow hunting and snag hooking there...........but i'm sure the lake the run goes to is still chocked full of em

    oh that was silver glen spring not alexander spring.

    but when im fishing ponds that aren't residential I guess ill leave them on the bank, sounds legal
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  • FS JeffFS Jeff Posts: 375 Moderator
    I'm looking at a pair of them outside my office window right now. They're sitting on beds in an estuarine tributary of the St. Lucie River, in Stuart.

    I hit them with a castnet every few months, fillet on the dock, and cook in the office kitchen microwave with a little butter and some seasoning salt. They're great.

    And as for eradicating them, not going to happen. The fish we castnet are replaced again, and again, and again...

    If you do try to castnet them, MAKE SURE you release any sunfish, bass or any other managed species which may end up in the net.

    Also: Do not transport them live, for bait or any other purpose. Catch, cook, and enjoy!

    Be sure to check up on castnet regulations and other miscellany in the FWC Freshwater Fishing Regulations handbook.
    Jeff Weakley
  • Jim311Jim311 Posts: 4,956 Captain
    Pretty sure removal by any means is legal, but bowfishing is very popular, and a lot of fun.
  • CodySCodyS Posts: 243 Officer
    Great eating like someone said if caught out of clean ponds and lakes. They will overpopulate a bass pond quickly. I have no idea why there are so many of them, in Pinellas County ever pond or lake I have ever been to has tilapia in them. If they are controlled the smaller ones are great forage for bass.
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