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Brown Hoplo FAQ

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

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.

Brown hoplo are native to eastern South America.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.