Welcome to the Tarpon Observation Network

Access link for Tarpon Observation Network

Nearly all saltwater anglers consider landing a tarpon as the angling world's premier lifetime achievement. Celebrated for its spectacular fighting ability, the "silver king" is so challenging to land that only about one of every eight hookups ever results in the angler putting their hands on the prize. The tarpon's dramatic struggles at the end of a line, includes arguably the most impressive aerial display of any sportfish species. Combined with an ability of making stunningly swift runs, often anglers recant watching the line being played out on one side of the boat while the tarpon jumps on the other. Capable of weighing in over 300 lbs, in Texas most that are hooked or landed weight less than 100 lbs. In Texas, most tarpon are found in nearshore Gulf waters, making surf anglers and boaters fishing near Gulf passes the most likely to encounter this exciting gamefish.

Until the 1960's, tarpon were a major draw for Texas anglers. In fact Port Aransas was once called "Tarpon" for the abundant tarpon caught there each year. However, overfishing and loss of habitat have contributed to a significant reduction in population levels. While current populations are not what they once were, a major effort to conserve the species has led to more opportunities for Texas anglers. Each year, typically in the late summer and early fall, anglers target tarpon with some degree of success. However, despite being a popular gamefish relatively little is known about the tarpon's life history.

The Tarpon Observation Network hopes to use volunteer based sightings of tarpon to augment what is known about tarpon in Texas waters. Over time, these observations may be able to shed some light on juvenile use of estuaries, movement of adults along the beach shoreline, or use of particular habitats, such as jetties, artificial reefs or petroleum platforms. Sport anglers, either shore-based or boaters, can all contribute to the program, as well as divers and the nature lover. Each observation is important and can be useful in understanding this interesting and elusive gamefish.

This application allows tarpon anglers and others interested in tarpon to enter their catch or observations via the internet. It also creates a means for anyone interested in tarpon to see historical or current tarpon distribution throughout Texas.

The information covered in this application consists of the following:

The user will also have abilities to print or export Excel and XML files from the screens.

If you have questions regarding the database content, please contact us via email at tarpon@tpwd.texas.gov

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