FLORIDA (WJW) — A man caught a massive grouper off the southwest coast of Florida.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the 350-pound Warsaw grouper was caught on December 29 in 600 feet of water.
Although adult groupers usually occur in depths of 180-1700 feet, the FWC says juveniles are occasionally seen around jetties and shallow-water reefs in the northern Gulf of Mexico.
Biologists from the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute’s Age & Growth Lab estimate the fish that was caught last month is 50 years old, which would make it the oldest sample collected for the aging program.
The FWC says getting samples from a fish of that size and age is rare.
The Warsaw grouper is the only grouper with 10 dorsal spines, as all others have 11.
FWC officials said that although the fish was caught, they do not encourage targeting of Warsaw groupers since the status of the population in the Gulf is unknown.