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350-pound Warsaw grouper caught off southwest coast of Florida

Biologists from the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute’s Age & Growth Lab estimate the age of the fish at 50 years old.

A 350-pound Warsaw grouper was caught off the southwest coast of Florida late last month, according to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Facebook page.

Biologists from the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute’s Age & Growth Lab estimated the age of the fish at 50 years old, making it the oldest sample collected for its aging program.

The fish was caught using a hook and line Dec. 29 in about 600 feet of water. Adults are usually found in depths of 180 to 1,700 feet, according to the FWC, while juveniles are occasionally seen around jetties and shallow-water reefs in the northern Gulf.

Warsaw are the only grouper with 10 dorsal spines, according to the FWC. All others have 11.

Warsaw groupers can grow up to 90 inches and 580 pounds, according to the FWC. The state record of 436 pounds, 12 ounces was caught near Destin.

The FWC said in the post that it does not encourage the targeting of Warsaw grouper, since the status of the population in the Gulf is unknown.

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