Variety of Fish

Tilapia

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Tilapia (/tɪˈlɑːpiə/ tih-LAH-pee-ə) is the common name for nearly a hundred species of cichlid fish from the coelotilapine, coptodonine, heterotilapine, oreochromine, pelmatolapiine and tilapiine tribes (formerly all were in Tilapiini), with the economically most important species placed in Coptodonini and Oreochromini. Tilapia are mainly freshwater fish inhabiting shallow streams, ponds, rivers, and lakes, and less commonly found living in brackish water. Historically, they have been of major importance in artisanal fishing in Africa, and they are of increasing importance in aquaculture and aquaponics. The aquaculture of Nile tilapia goes back to Ancient Egypt. The Tilapia was a symbol of rebirth in Egyptian art. 
 
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Tilapia were one of the three main types of fish caught in Talmudic times from the Sea of Galilee. Today, in Modern Hebrew, the fish species is called amnoon (suggested derivative: am "mother" + noon "fish"). In English, it is sometimes known by the name "St. Peter's fish", which comes from the story in the Gospel of Matthew about the apostle Peter catching a fish that carried a coin in its mouth, though the passage does not name the fish.
 
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Tilapia typically have laterally compressed, deep bodies. Like other cichlids, their lower pharyngeal bones are fused into a single tooth-bearing structure. A complex set of muscles allows the upper and lower pharyngeal bones to be used as a second set of jaws for processing food,  allowing a division of labor between the "true jaws" (mandibles) and the "pharyngeal jaws". This means they are efficient feeders that can capture and process a wide variety of food items. Their mouths are protrusible, usually bordered with wide and often swollen lips. The jaws have conical teeth. Typically, tilapia have a long dorsal fin, and a lateral line which often breaks towards the end of the dorsal fin, and starts again two or three rows of scales below. Some Nile tilapia can grow as long as 2.0 ft.
 
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Other than their temperature sensitivity, tilapia exist in or can adapt to a very wide range of conditions. An extreme example is the Salton Sea, where tilapia introduced when the water was merely brackish now live in salt concentrations so high that other marine fish cannot survive.
 
Tilapia are also known to be a mouth-brooding species, which means they carry the fertilized eggs and young fish in their mouths for several days after the yolk sac is absorbed. 
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                                                                                                                       Mouth-Brooding, Tilapia
 
Tilapia is a type of fish mainly found in fresh and brackish water. Tilapias are classified as herbivores. It can be quite difficult to learn how to catch tilapia because they are rather shy. Catching them will require your best angling skills.
 
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There are two main reasons why tilapia may be attracted to bait: hunger and to protect their territory. Using live bait is one of the most effective ways to catch tilapia. Tilapias are very territorial during their fry-rearing season and spawning. During this time, Tilapia become aggressive to virtually anything that comes closer to their spawning beds.
 
Tilapias normally spawn for unlimited periods. They can spawn until water temperatures decrease below 60 degrees. This will give you ample time to draw lures near their spawning beds. Chances of catching Tilapia with a reel and a line drop abruptly after the spawning period.
 
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Most Tilapias prefer spawning in shallow waters that offer cover from other fish and predators. It is very easy to locate the tilapia spawning beds. The beds look like craters swathing in the river bottoms or ponds. Tilapias are very nervous, therefore avoid getting too close to their beds.
 
Tilapias mainly feed on plant foods. They can also be lured by bread balls. Use lures that look like small fish or invertebrates if you want to take advantage of their territorial instincts.  Tilapia go after just about anything when they are spanning and their territory is threatened.
 
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                                                                                                        Tilapia, foul hooked, Lake El Novillo
 

Use short lures because tilapia normally bite fish mimicking lures. Short lures will likely make a strong hook set.  Many anglers use small pieces of earthworms on very small hooks to catch tilapia.

Although some people prefer using catch-and-release methods for most game fish like trout and bass, anglers are encouraged to keep and cook all the tilapias they can catch. Tilapia can be territorial. In addition, they can easily colonize their habitats. Tilapias are known to eliminate other fish in their habitats causing imbalances in the ecosystems of their habitats.

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This species of fish destroys the vegetation composition of rivers and ponds that they live in. This is one of the main reasons why anglers are encouraged to keep the tilapia fish that they catch to keep their populations in check. Nevertheless, catching tilapia is not easy and requires a very light tackle because tilapia is very wary and has good eyesight.

Tasty Tilapias!

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                                                                                              Tilapia makes for good eating! Lake El Novillo
 
Tilapias are known for their white and delicious flesh.
 
Tilapia is the fourth-most consumed fish in the United States dating back to 2002. The popularity of tilapia came about due to its low price, easy preparation, and mild taste.

Lake El Novillo Tilapia Farming

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Mexican businessmen have been commercially farming Tilapia at Lake El Novillo since the late 1980’s. Tilapia escaping from these early farms introduced the species to the lake as a natural reproducing fish species.  There is currently a large commercial operation, “Acuicola Gemso S.A. de C.V.” in partnership with Tropical Aquaculture Products.  [  https://www.tropicalaquaculture.com/  ]
The fish harvested from the farm are processed locally and fresh tilapia are trucked to the west coast of the United States, to cities such as San Diego and Los Angeles for commercial sales such as stores and restaurants.  This operation was the first such farm in Mexico to earn BAP (Best Aquaculture Practices) [   https://www.bapcertification.org/    ]   certification   [    https://bapcertification.org/blog/new-bap-video-released/  ]     in 2015.