Weekend sport-boat fishermen finfish catch statistics for Texas Bay Systems, May 1974-May 1983
Creel surveys conducted in Texas bays since fall 1974 have shown a decline in annual landings by weekend sport boat fishermen. The estimated annual landings during 1974-76 for seven bay systems were 2.6 million fishes (1.2 million kg). During 1982-83 annual landings for these same seven bay systems were 1.1 million fishes (0.6 million kg). This decline in landings was accompanied by a decline in the mean annual catch rates and possibly in fishing pressure. The mean annual catch rate fell from an estimated 0.98 fish/man-h during 1974-75 to an estimated 0.49 fish/man-h during 1982-83. Pressure fell from 3.2 million fishing trip man-h during 1974-76 to 2.3 million fishing trip man-h during 1982-83. The Galveston Bay system had the highest fishing pressure with a mean of .94 million fishing trip man-h/year and the San Antonio Bay system had the lowest fishing pressure with a mean of .15 million fishing trip man-h/year. Spotted seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus) was the fish most frequently landed (39%) in each year, and with the exception of several species grouped in the other fishes' category, gafftopsail catfish (Bagre marinus) was landed the least approx. 2%. Red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) and black drum (Pogonias cromis) accounted for approx. 5% and approx. 4% of the total annual landings, respectively.