Life History Studies of the Important Sports, Commercial, and Bait Fishes of the Lower Laguna Madre - Biological Survey of the Waters of the Laguna Madre of Cameron, Willacy, and the Southern Half of Kenedy Counties and Adjacent Waters
Mullet, abundant throughout the year, are consumed by both trout and redfish. Anchovies are next most abundant, particularly in the winter. Young golden croaker, abundant in the spring, are replaced by pigfish and pinfish in summer and fall. Other major forage fish are spot croakers, silversides, and skipjack. Spawning and nursery grounds of spotted trout were found widespread in the area in water two to four feet deep with shoal grass substrate. Spawning occurred from April to August with the peak in late May. Small trout frequented deep channels; large ones preferred shallow water. Juvenile redfish were found on the bay side of Padre Island near Brazos Santiago Pass from December through May. Summer nursery areas included the Arroyo Colorado. Adult redfish, over three years old, were not common in the region. Black drum were present most of the year. They entered Brazos Santiago Pass in late June, dispersed during cold weather, and were scattered over the entire area from November through March. Larger adults entered the bay in January and February, and many spawned in the bay and gulf in February and March. There was a general northward movement within the bay, and most left the bay by late May. Juveniles grounds are not well known but include shallow sloughs. Contract netters removed over one million pounds of drum during the period from December through May. Sheepshead frequented jetties and passes in summer and deep water in winter. Flounder were extremely abundant for the third consecutive year. They were most abundant in summer, but some were present in winter.