Population Studies of the Sports and Commercial Fin-Fish and Forage Species of the Lower Laguna Madre - Analysis of Populations of Sports and Commercial Fin-Fish and of Factors Which Affect These Populations in the Coastal Bays of Texas



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Texas Parks and Wildlife Department


The availability of forage species by month in 1963 was little different from 1962, although a generally higher production was noted during 1963. This increase is attributed to more even distribution over the bay and higher production in the peak months. Juvenile samples contained relatively few specimens and were similar to those taken in 1962. Juvenile trout were taken by trawl from July through September and juvenile drum by seine in the same months. Larval redfish were taken in small mesh samplers in October and November. Redfish of the 1962 fall spawn did not appear in net catches until August 1963 with a gradual increase in numbers since that time. While the average yield of trout in the adult fish sampling areas shows a 24 per cent decline in 1963, Year Class II trout were very abundant in channels in summer and fall. Large bull drum were abundant during the first three months of the year with small 8-to 12-inch drum predominating the remainder of the year. Flounder and sheepshead were abundant in all sizes over much of the area. Tag returns were meager for those fish tagged at adult fish sampling stations, although a tagging effort involving 521 trout in the Arroyo Colorado in August and September resulted in 68 returns by the end of the year. In spite of the fact that the effort involved only Year Class II trout, which are under the legal size limit in this area, statistical treatment of the return data indicated a 7.1 per cent loss by fishing mortality, a 36.9 per cent loss to other factors for a 44 per cent total loss or a 56 per cent survival rate for each 30-day period.


pages 387-402; available for download at the link below.


Lower Laguna Madre, Texas, finfish, fish population, stock assessment