Saltwater finfish research and management in Texas: a report to the Governor and the 72nd Legislature.
The saltwater finfish fishery in Texas is large and complex. Sport and commercial fishermen actively seek saltwater finfish in Texas bays and in the adjacent Gulf of Mexico. Over 12 million pounds of finfish worth over 700 million dollars (commercial dockside and sport direct expenditures value) are landed annually by finfish fishermen. Spotted seatrout, sand seatrout, red drum, black drum, and Atlantic croaker are the major finfish landed from Texas bays. Spotted seatrout, red drum, striped bass, tarpon, snook and billfishes (except swordfish) can be legally landed only by sport fishermen. Commercial fishermen land approximately 47% and sport fishermen land approximately 53% by weight of the remaining species. A commercial fishery operates in Texas waters for menhaden, but the fish are landed exclusively in Louisiana. About 98 million pounds of menhaden are taken from Texas waters annually.