Weekend sport boat fishermen finfish catch statistics for Texas Bay systems, May 1974-1981
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Creel surveys conducted in Texas bays since 1974 have shown a decline in annual landings by sport boat fishermen. The estimated annual landings during 1974-76 for seven bay systems were 2.6 million fishes (1.3 million kg). During 1980-81 annual landing for the same seven bay systems were 1.0 million fishes (0.6 million kg). This decline in landings was accomplished by a decline in the mean annual catch rates and possibly in fishing pressure. The mean annual catch rate fell from and estimated 0.98 fish/ man-h during 1974-75, to an estimated 0.44 fish per man-h during 1980-81. Pressure fell from 3.2 million fishing trip man-h during 1974-76 to 2.4 million fishing trip man-h during 1980-81. The Galveston Bay system had the highest fishing pressure (a mean of 0.95 million fishing trip man-h per year) and the Matagorda Bay system had the lowest fishing pressure (a mean of 0.17 million fishing trip man-h per year). Spotted seatrout was the most frequent fish landed (>38% in every bay system) and with the exception of several species grouped in an other fishes catagory, gafftopsail catfish was landed the least (<2%). Red drum accounted for <5% and black drum accounted for <4% of the total annual landings.