Shrimp and Finfish Investigations in the Northwestern Gulf



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U.S. Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Marine Fisheries Service


From October 1977 through September 1978 the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department used a systematic shrimp sampling program within 25 fm and mark-recapture studies to monitor juvenile and adult penaeid shrimp growth, movement and abundance. The commercial potential of bottom longlines off the central Texas coast was also evaluated. Five brown shrimp tagging studies were conducted between May and October 1978 using polyethylene streamer tags. During this time 42,160 shrimp were released in three inshore studies at Port Mansfield and Rockport and 4333 shrimp were released in two offshore operations at Port Aransas. By 30 September 1978, 176 tags were returned - 6 from the inshore tagging and 170 from the offshore tagging in August 1978. Preliminary data from the returns are presented. The shrimp monitoring program verified the emigration of brown shrimp from the bays at the start of the summer closed season in Texas waters and monitored count sizes and catch rates throughout the summer. Data from shrimp sampling have been used in developing new sampling programs and management plans. Between December 1977 and September 1978, 34 bottom longline samples were taken from 3-107 fm off the central Texas coast. The greatest catches were from 26-35 fm in March. Atlantic sharpnose shark (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae) was the most abundant species making up 67.1% of the total catch. Sea catfish (Arius felis) and red drum (Sciaenops ocellata) were the next most abundant species caught. During limited sampling in the winder, summer and fall quarters the 3-10 fm zone yielded the highest average catches. In the spring when the majority of the sampling was scheduled the highest average catch rates were in the 21-50 fm area.


81 pages; available for download at the link below.


finfish, sampling program, Northwestern Gulf of Mexico, brown shrimp