Unseasonably cold temperatures in 2010 might have killed as many as 10,000 tarpon in Florida according to Kathryn Guindon of the Florida's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.
For striped bass fishermen, 50 degrees means great striper action. But 50 is a deadly number in Florida, and if the water temperatures dip below 50, it's likely lethal for many of the tarpon living there.
Juvenile and young tarpon, from 0 to two years of age, are likely the hardest hit by sub-50-degree temps. Because it takes a tarpon roughly 12 years to mature to spawning age, the breeder fish likely survived the cold snap in 2010, which is at least some good news for the tarpon population.
Not enough is known to make any conclusive statements, but some believe, like fishing guides Carl Ball and Kevin Mihailoff, that adult tarpon will move out of their inshore grounds when the water gets cold enough, and will wait out the cold spell offshore.