Biologist Pat O'Donnell has been conducting monthly sampling for sharks in Faca Union Bay, Facahatchee Bay, and Pumpkin Bay in the northern Ten Thousand Islands for several years now.  While he is most interested in the movements and residency of sharks in the area, he has also been fortunate enough to catch and release several smalltooth sawfish in these bays.
All photos are courtesy of Pat O'Donnell.


Pat holds a very young sawfish in Faca Union Bay.
It was caught and released in April, 2003.


Pat uses spaghetti tags to identify recaptured sawfish and sharks,
inserting the tag at the base of the dorsal fin.  This 8 ft (2.4 m) sawfish
was caught on March 25, 2003 and may have been a recapture
(see tag scar photo below).


A close-up of the dorsal fin of the 8 ft (2.4 m) sawfish from above
shows where a tag may have been from a previous capture.  Pat
also removes a small portion of the dorsal fin for genetic analysis.


Here is a photo of a recaptured 6.8 ft (2.1 m) sawfish that shows
how a coded wire tag can grow algae on it in a years time.  This
animal was tagged first in February, 2002 and then recaptured in
March, 2003 in the same bay.  It had grown approximately
1.8 feet in length in 13 months.

Pat relies heavily on volunteers to help him with his field research.  If you are interested in volunteering during evening gillnetting or daytime trawls, call Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve at 239/417-6310 ext. 407, or email Pat.

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