The fall red drum Gulf of Mexico pier fishery off Galveston Bay, Texas
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During September and October 1981 Gulf pier fishermen were surveyed from High Island to San Luis Pass, Texas to determine the harvest of red drum, Sciaenops ocellatus, during the fall bull (> 5 kg) red drum run. During this study, 232 fishermen were interviewed on 12 weekday and 6 weekend days. The estimated harvest of red drum was 275 fish (1895 kg) by an estimated 8584 fishermen for a catch rate of ~0.01 fish/man-h. More red drum were caught on mullet, Mugil cephalus and Mugil curema, than any other bait. The mean total length of red drum was 825 mm and the mean whole weight was 6.89 kg. Over 98% of the interviewed fishermen were from Texas with 81.5% from counties adjacent to the survey area. It is recommended that future estimates of the number of bull red drum caught from these Gulf piers be made using the Big Fish Records maintained by pier operators. However, due to inaccurate scales and/or weighing technique, the Big Fish Records should not be used to determine harvest by weight.