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Rooster Fish

PIER has several projects focused on the movements, post-release survivorship and general biology of roosterfish.


Initial research efforts by the PIER team have focused on post-release survivorship and documeting short-term movement patterns using acoustic telemetry.  The findings from this work suggest that roosterfish are resilient and that they can, when handled properly, survive the acute effects of capture and release.  The work has also revealed that roosterfish have relatively large home ranges with fish routinely moving over 30 kilometers per day.

Additional studies on growth and reproduction are being conducted in conjunction with the laboratory of Dr. Sofia Ortega of CICIMAR in La Paz.  Given the importance of the roosterfish resource to recreational fisheries in the Eastern Pacific, we will continue to direct our efforts at better understand the biology of this coastal species.

Documenting the fine-scale movements of roosterfish (Nematistius pectoralis)

Collaborative Researchers:  Diego Bernal, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

This project used acoustic telemetry to document the post-release behavior and investigate survivorship in a popular local game fish species, the roosterfish Although the roosterfish is a popular recreational species in the Eastern Pacific, little is known about this fish’s movements or biology. In this study, we used a  Vemco acoustic telemetry system to record the depth and temperature of post-release fish off the coast of Golfito, Costa Rica.

Chugey and Omar tracking a roosterfish tight to the rocks along the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica