Red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) movement in Texas bays
Osburn, Hal R.
Matlock, Gary C.
Green, Albert W.
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Red drum movement in Texas bays was studied by means of fish tagged with internal abdominal anchor tags and subsequently released. Intrabay movement was minimal with the majority (>71%) of returned tagged red drum moving =10 km. Few fish were returned from the Gulf or from outside the bay in which they were tagged. Movement patterns of red drum, however, differed significantly among some bay systems. There was no detectable relation between minimum distance moved by red drum and seasons or size of fish. The previously reported mass migration of red drum in winter was not detected in this study. Texas bays systems can be considered closed systems for fish approximately 305-625 mm TL when managing red drum stocks. Due to the restricted movemement patterns, local populations of red drum could be vulnerable to intense fishing pressure.