The role of hurricanes in determining year-class strength of red drum.




Matlock, G.C.

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The hurricane season in Texas coincides with the red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) spawning period. Hurricanes may impact year-class strength by increasing the numbers and/or survival of juvenile red drum recruited into the bays. Bag seine collections during the period 1962-1975 in the Laguna Madre and Galveston Bay systems are used to examine recruitments after Hurricanes Beulah (1967) and Fern(1971). Trammel net collections during the same period in the lower Laguna Madre are used to examine year-class strength through age 3. Both hurricanes reduced bays salinities 20 to 25 o/oo, and the number of juvenile red drum in the Laguna Madre increased. Year-class strength may have been increased through above average transport of larvae to nutrient-rich bays and higher survival rates in intermediate salinities (15-25 o/oo) caused by hurricanes.


p. 39-47.


red drum, Sciaenops ocellata, hurricanes, juveniles, survival, recruitment, population characteristics