It has long been assumed that a bonefish’s movement is generally confined to one area—in and around a particular flat, for instance. Research done by the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust has found this to generally be true, with certain exceptions. Of the fish tagged in the Florida Keys, 42% were recaptured at or near their tagging location, while 70% were recaptured within five miles of their tagging location.
However, some bonefish have been recaptured 100 miles or more from their original tagging location. Fish tagged in Biscayne Bay have been recaptured in the Lower Keys and two fish tagged in the Upper Keys were recaptured on Andros Island in the Bahamas.
The results of the BTT’s studies in the Keys, Bahamas and Belize highlight the importance of protecting particular habitats and locations, but also larger areas for those fish that do undertake significant movement.