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Freshwater Fisheries Research

The fish and invertebrates in Florida’s lakes and rivers are an important natural resource. Freshwater fishing is a significant contributor to tourism and the state’s economy. To ensure the health and sustainability of Florida’s aquatic resources, the Freshwater Fisheries Research section provides freshwater fishery, invertebrate, and habitat information to those in federal, state, and local governments who make decisions that affect Florida’s freshwater resources.  The information is also made available to the public through news releases, magazine articles, social media, and the web.

Jason Dotson, Section Leader

Staff: 79
FY 2023-2024 budget: $4,260,719

A woman stands on a boat holding a long black fish in her hands. A man is sitting in the background.


Researchers study age, growth, reproduction, mortality, movement, food habits, disease, juvenile recruitment, and other life history parameters essential to understanding the population dynamics of important sport fish species in Florida. Fish populations and aquatic habitats are monitored on priority water bodies statewide. Data concerning the life histories, ecology, and population dynamics are provided to FWC biologists and are necessary for population studies and assessments.

Subsection Leader
Travis Tuten,

Researchers integrate community-based and species-specific life history research of freshwater fish and invertebrates with data on population dynamics, habitat quality and quantity, and human dimensions to provide science-based assessments to resource managers.

Subsection Leader
Eric Nagid,