Do you have questions about brown hoplo? Read the brown hoplo FAQ for answers.

How and when were brown hoplo introduced into Florida?
It is not known for sure how they were introduced into Florida, but these exotic catfish were first documented in Florida waters in the mid-1990s.

Where is the brown hoplo's native habitat?
Brown hoplo are native to eastern South America.

Is the brown hoplo good to eat?
Many Floridians relish this fish, and it is a popular food fish in the Caribbean, Central America, South America, and western Asia. It is said to be quite good when prepared as an ethnic dish.

How do people catch brown hoplo?
Hoplo feed on detritus and benthic invertebrates, so they are not susceptible to hook-and-line methods. Those who pursue hoplo exclusively use cast nets. Be careful to observe local restrictions on the use of cast nets in freshwater, and remember that the stretched mesh size of the net must not exceed one inch.

Where can I catch brown hoplo?
Hoplo are found throughout central and south Florida. They prefer low-oxygen backwaters and ditches, where they can be observed flipping at the surface as they gulp air.

Are there restrictions on how many or what size brown hoplo can be harvested?
Brown hoplo are an introduced species, so there are no size or number restrictions on harvesting them. However, freshwater fishing license requirements must still be observed, and a commercial license is required if hoplo are to be sold.

Where can I find more information on brown hoplo and other exotic freshwater fish species in Florida?
Information on exotic freshwater fish species, including photos and physical descriptions, sporting quality, and natural history, is available through the FWC Freshwater Fisheries Management Web site. Visit the Nonnative Fish Species Profiles page to learn more.

FWC Facts:
Red tides have been documented along Florida's Gulf coast since the 1840s and likely occurred earlier. Fish kills around Tampa Bay were mentioned in the logs of Spanish explorers.

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