Trends in finfish catches by private sport-boat fishermen in Texas marine waters through May 1984




Osburn, H. R.
Ferguson, M. O.

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Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Coastal Fisheries Branch


Creel surveys conducted in Texas bays since fall 1974 have shown a decline in annual finfish 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 1983-84 estimated annual landings for these same seven bay systems were 1.0 million fishes (0.7 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/trip man-h during 1974-75 to an estimated 0.44 fish/trip man-h during 1983-84. Pressure fell from 3.2 million fishing trip man-h during 1974-76 to 2.4 million fishing trip man-h during 1983-84. The Galveston Bay system had the highest fishing pressure with a mean of 0.90 million fishing trip man-h/year and the San Antonio Bay system had the lowest fishing pressure with a mean of 0.15 million fishing trip man-h/year. Spotted seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus) was the fish most frequently landed (40%) in each year, and with the exception of several species grouped in the other fishes category, gafftopsail catfish (Bagre marinus) was landed the least (2%). Red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) and black drum (Pogonias cromis) accounted for 6% and 4% of the total annual landings, respectively.


165 pgs.


surveys, finfish, sport fishing, landing statistics, catch statistics, pressure, spotted seatrout, gafftopsail catfish, red drum, black drum