An investigation of the Spanish mackerel, Scomberomorus maculatus (Mitchill), along the Texas coast.




Rice, K.

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Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Coastal Fisheries Branch


During June-September 1978 the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in cooperation with the Gulf and South Atlantic Fisheries Development Foundation attempted to determine the commercial harvest potential of the Spanish mackeral along the Texas coast using a modified purse seine, gill net and troll lines. Spanish mackeral life history data were also obtained. Few fish were located; rough seas and turbid water prevented extensive sampling with either the net or the purse seine. Most Spanish mackerel were observed in or near passes. The incidental catch of other game species in the modified purse seine was minor, the incidental catch was composed mainly of bait fish on which the mackeral were feeding. A total of 208 fish were tagged for growth and migration studies. Stomach analyses indicated that bumper (Chloroscombrus chrysurus) was the most common food item eaten by the Spanish mackeral. During August and September, 72% of the 58 fish examined had developing or ripe gonads.


11 pgs.


marine fish, Spanish mackerel, Scomberomorus maculatus, fishery resources, life history, diets, seine nets, stomach content