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Florida Fish Species

Alligator Gar
American Eel
American Shad
Atlantic Croaker
Atlantic Sharpnose Shark
Black Bullhead
Black Crappie
Black Drum
Blue Catfish
Blue Tilapia
Brown Bullhead
Brown Hoplo
Chain Pickerel
Channel Catfish
Clown Knifefish
Common Carp
Flathead Catfish
Florida Gar
Gizzard Shad
Golden Shiner
Grass Carp
Green Sunfish
Hybrid Striped Bass(wiper/palmetto)
Inland Silverside
Lake Chubsucker
Largemouth Bass
Longnose Gar
Longnose Sucker
Mayan Cichlid
Mozambique Tilapia
Peacock Bass
Red Drum
Redbreast Sunfish
Redear Sunfish
Redfin Pickerel
Redspotted Sunfish
Shoal Bass
Spotted Bass
Spotted Sunfish
Spotted Tilapia
Striped Bass
Striped Mullet
Suckermouth Catfish
Sunfish (Bream)
Suwannee Bass
Threadfin Shad
White Bass
White Catfish
Yellow Bullhead

View another fish:
FishExplorer Lakes with Blue Tilapia
Lake Alfred
Alligator Lake
Lake Apopka
Lake Baldwin
Bay Lake
Lake Beauclair
Big Sand Lake
Lake Blue Cypress
Butler Chain
Lake Cannon
Lake Carlton
Cat Lake
Center Lake
Clear Lake
Lake Conlin
Lake Conway
Crescent Lake
Cypress Lake
Lake Denham
Lake Dexter
Lake Dora
East Lake Tohopekaliga
Ella Lake
Lake Eloise
Lake Eustis
Lake Fairview
Lake Gentry
Lake George
Lake Griffin
Lake Haines
Lake Hamilton
Lake Hancock
Lake Harney
Lake Harris
Lake Hart
Lake Hartridge
Lake Hatchineha
Lake Hellen Blazes
Holly Lake
Lake Howard
Lake Ida
Lake Ivanhoe
Lake Jesup
John's Lake
Kenansville Lake
Lake Kissimmee
Lake Lawne
Little Lake Harris
Lake Lizzie
Loughman Lake
Lake Marian
Lake Mary Jane
Lake Miona
Lake Monroe
Lake Okeechobee
Lake Osborne
Lake Panasoffkee
Lake Poinsett
Puzzle Lake
Lake Rochelle
Rodman Reservoir
Sawgrass Lake
Shipp Lake
South Lake
Starke Lake
Stick Marsh
Lake Summit
Lake Tarpon
Lake Tibet
Lake Tohopekaliga
Lake Trafford
Trout Lake (Osceola Cty)
Turkey Lake
Lake Underhill
Lake Washington
Lake Winder
Lake Woodruff
Lake Yale
FishExplorer Rivers with Blue Tilapia
Only lakes in the Fish Explorer database are included in this listing. Lakes we feature on this website are hyperlinked.
Blue Tilapia
Blue Tilapia are native to Africa and has become established in Texas and Florida and possibly Arizona, as a result of accidental releases from aquaculture operations.  It is found in fertile lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, and canals and is saltwater tolerant.  They prefer tropical environments with water temperatures over 75 degrees Fahrenheit and relatively intolerant of temperature below 50.  Tilapia are primarily herbivores, but will occasionally consume zooplankton and small invertebrates.
Tilapia are compressed, deep bodied fish, similar to our native sunfish.  Adults are generally a blue-gray along the back, fading to white on the belly. Sides may have vague irregular markings, or be unmarked. Dorsal and caudal fins have reddish borders.  The spiny dorsal fin is joined with the soft dorsal fin. They may live over five years.  Fish over 20 inches and approaching ten pounds are possible.
Spawning occurs when the water temperatures near 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Large circular nests are dug by the males in shallow water over a sandy bottom. Males lead passing females to the nest for courtship. After the eggs are laid and fertilized, the female takes the eggs into her mouth and swims off.  The eggs are hatched in the female's mouth, over a period of three weeks or so, the female releases the fry occasionally to feed.  When threatened they return to her mouth. This is referred to as mouth-brooding.

Blue Tilapia in Florida

Courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Appearance: Adults are blue-gray shading to white on the belly; borders of dorsal and caudal fins are edged with red or pink.
Habitat: Blue tilapia are established in central and south Florida with isolated populations further north, including in some inshore marine habitats. Native to north Africa and the Middle East.
Behavior: Males dig large nests with their mouths in the shallows. Females lay eggs and then, after fertilization, take the eggs into their mouths. Eggs hatch in her mouth. Fry are released to feed, but when threatened return to the mother's mouth. Tilapia eat plankton and small organisms living in or on bottom detritus.
State Record: 10 lbs (qualifying weight-no record). Big Catch: 18 inches or 3.75 lbs
Fishing Tips and Facts: Anglers use pieces of hot dogs, bread balls, dog food, or live worms. Bow anglers also target this species. They can be a very good eating fish; take as many as you like, but do not live release them.

Most Recent Blue Tilapia Forum Posts
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Blue Tilapia Articles, Blogs, & Podcasts
Blog: Boomerang Tool Co. Grip 11.07.12 by Joshua Christensen
Blog: DIY No Drill Removable Kayak Fish FInder 09.29.12 by Joshua Christensen
Blog: Take Your Time 04.12.12 by Joshua Christensen
Blog: Spring (Rebirth) New podcasts coming Soon! 04.11.12 by Tim Emery
Blog: It's your fault! 02.21.12 by Tim Emery
Blog: 4 Apps Every Angler With A Smartphone Should Use 02.09.12 by Joshua Christensen
Blog: Clouser Pattern Detailed - New Article 12.16.11 by Matt Snider
Blog: Become a pro 09.30.11 by Joshua Christensen
Recent Florida Blue Tilapia Photos by Fish Explorer Members
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