University of South Florida

USF College of Marine Science


OCG in the Lab: Fish Ecology

A fresh fish found inside another fish’s stomach!

A fresh fish found inside another fish’s stomach!

The Fish Ecology Lab allowed campers to explore several species of fish, inside and out, and how they interact with both humans and their environment. On Day One they examined several fish species local to Tampa Bay including Silver Trout, Guitarfish, Little Tunny, and much more! Campers explored the external features/characteristics of each fish to gain insight on how the particular species lives and therefore how it interacts with its environment and other species.

Girls also plunged into the internal anatomy to identify key organs of a Speckled Seatrout. The highlight of the day occurred when the campers decided to analyze its stomach contents and found an entire Toadfish that was freshly eaten!

Fishy kisses

Fishy kisses!

On Day Two girls became Fish Biologists and took fishery data from Mangrove Snapper. Campers measured the length and weighed several fish and even got hands on experience with learning how to properly tag fish with dart tags and filleting fish too! On the final day of camp the collected data will be compared to preexisting data to see if the average size, weight, and length frequencies have changed since 2014.

The campers loved learning about fish and why they are important. Key points that campers took away were how body form fits function, how fishery data is collected, and why it is important to protect and preserve our fisheries here in Florida.

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Mission Statement

Our blue planet faces a suite of challenges and opportunities for understanding and innovation. Our mission is to advance understanding of the interconnectivity of ocean systems and human-ocean interactions using a cross-disciplinary approach, to empower the next workforce of the blue economy with a world-class education experience, and to share our passion for a healthy environment and science-informed decision-making with community audiences near and far.