Have you ever wondered what it would be like to reel in a massive tarpon? Or perhaps you’re curious about the critical factors in preserving bonefish, tarpon, and permit populations?

Today, we dive deep into conservation with Mark Rehbein from the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust. Join us as we unravel why these three species are important for conservation efforts and explore the key habitats that need protection.

Show Notes with Mark Rehbein on  Bonefish & Tarpon Trust. Hit play below! 👇🏻



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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)


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Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

Episode Chapters with Mark Rehbein on Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

2:40 – Mark Rehbein started fly fishing at a young age due to his father’s involvement in making Potomac River bass fishing videos. This project led them to connect with Lefty Kreh. His journey eventually took him to Alaska, where he lived in a tent and worked at a fly shop.

Mark Rehbein’s Journey to Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

09:25 – After following BTT for years and growing up with a love for bonefishing, Mark transitioned from a corporate job and internships to landing an entry-level events position at BTT.

Despite having no prior events experience, Mark embraced the challenge and grew within the organization, eventually becoming the Director of Development.

Mark also highlights two upcoming major events hosted by BTT: the Circle of Honor in May and the New York dinner in October, where notable individuals like Captain Rick Ruoff, Captain Joe Gonzalez, and Travis Holeman will be honored.

Bonefish & Tarpon Trust
Photo via https://www.instagram.com/saltwater_bae/

Bonefish, Tarpon, and Permit Conservation Efforts

19:38 –  BTT focuses on the conservation of bonefish, tarpon, and permits. These species are crucial because protecting them also ensures the preservation of their habitats and benefits other marine life.

BTT’s initiatives involve extensive research, including tagging programs and mark-recapture studies, to gather essential data for informed conservation strategies.


The focus revolves around three key areas: habitat preservation, water quality improvement, and effective fisheries management.

“You gain credibility by the thimble full and lose it by the bucket full.” 

Dr. Aaron Adams

Bonefish & Tarpon Trust
Photo via https://www.instagram.com/bonefishtarpontrust/

In places like the Florida Keys, BTT utilizes tournament catch records and collaborates with organizations like the IGFA, Lower Keys Guides Association, and Florida Keys Fishing Guides Association to track trends in tarpon encounters, releases, and jumps.

Life History of Tarpon

33:40 – Tarpons start with their offshore spawning in deep waters, where they release eggs that develop into Leptocephalus larvae. These larvae drift with ocean currents until they reach suitable habitats.

As juveniles, tarpon thrive in mangrove estuaries, where optimal habitat conditions support their growth and development. Tarpons can live up to 80 years and spawn multiple times.

Bonefish & Tarpon Trust
Photo via https://www.instagram.com/bonefishtarpontrust

The Importance of Mangroves 

45:37 – Mangroves serve as crucial habitats for various juvenile fish species. They provide protection, food sources, and growth opportunities. Mangroves also contribute to coastal resilience and are essential for maintaining healthy ecosystems.

Lefty Kreh’s Legacy and One-Liners

53:35 – Mark shares anecdotes about Lefty Kreh’s humorous personality and his knack for memorable one-liners. Despite his fame as an angler, Lefty’s true legacy lies in his kindness, passion for fishing, and impact on those he encountered.

Mark reflects on the impact Lefty had on him and how he strives to uphold Lefty’s legacy by emulating his positive attitude and dedication to angling.


Follow Bonefish & Tarpon Trust on Instagram @bonefishtarpontrust

Visit their website: BonefishTarponTrust.org

Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

Related Podcast Episodes

WFS 474 – Lords of the Fly with Monte Burke – Homosassa, Tarpon Fishing, Nick Saban

Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below

Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

Conclusion with Mark Rehbein on Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

Mark Rehbein really brings the excitement of fishing and conservation to life in this episode. We dove deep into the crucial work being done at Bonefish & Tarpon Trust. And those Lefty stories? Pure gold!  Here’s to more adventures and conservation wins ahead!