Stock Enhancement Research Internship

Interns interested in marine aquaculture assist hatchery biologists with the propagation and rearing of red drum, spotted seatrout, zooplankton, and phytoplankton.

Intern Richard Gelok tagging red drum for MarineQuest
Intern Richard Gelok tagging
hatchery-reared red drum

College students and recent graduates are eligible for marine aquaculture internships at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) only state-operated marine hatchery, located at Port Manatee, where scientists conduct Stock Enhancement Research to support native fish populations.

The Stock Enhancement Research program has developed the technology to rear finfish such as red drum and spotted seatrout and is currently testing the concept of rearing these species in recirculating aquaculture systems. Interns' responsibilities include assisting biologists and technicians with the propagation and rearing of red drum, zooplankton, and phytoplankton, as well as with pond and tank maintenance, fingerling and brood stock management, water quality, feeding, sampling, harvest, and tagging. Interns record and manage data and operate equipment such as water quality instruments and all terrain vehicles.

In addition to these duties, interns are expected to complete an independent research project and present a 10- to 15-minute seminar on their work. Interns work at least 8 hours a week for 12 to 16 weeks, and their schedules must be flexible. Interns receive no pay and must arrange their own housing.


Aquaculture experience is desired but not required. Applicants must possess a valid U.S. Class E driver's license and be

  • able to operate water quality equipment and all-terrain vehicles,
  • able to work independently and in a group setting, and
  • literate in Microsoft Office programs.

If you are interested in applying for an internship with the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, the following information is required:

  • A cover letter describing area(s) of interest and the dates, days, and hours of availability
  • A résumé describing training and experience
  • An unofficial copy of your academic transcript

Please send these three items as e-mail attachments to

Or mail hard copies to

Internship Coordinator
Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
100 Eighth Avenue SE
St. Petersburg, FL 33701-5020

FWC Facts:
The life expectancy for Gulf sturgeon is 20-42 years. The oldest age documented for a tagged and recaptured Suwannee River Gulf sturgeon is about 27-28 years.

Learn More at AskFWC