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Billy Pate Laments Tarpon Decline

July 3, 2005 By: Marshall Cutchin

At a recent seminar in Tampa, Florida, reknowned tarpon angler Billy Pate suggested that foreign markets for tarpon “caviar” have had a huge impact on tarpon stocks. “‘I’m not going to say which country because they’ve been pretty good to me, but I was asking one guy where the big tarpon were and he got out a map. He pointed to some small towns and looked in a ledger. He told me one town had a slow year and only got 450 big tarpon but another town got over 2,000 – all in the same country. When I asked what they did with them I was told that they can sell the eggs, tarpon caviar, for as high as $16 a pound.'” G.B. Knowles in the Boca Grande Boca Beacon.