Recreational finfish catch statistics for Texas Bay systems, September 1979-August 1980




McEachron, L.W., and A.W. Green

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Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Coastal Fisheries Branch


Weekend sport boat fishermen were surveyed in Galveston, Matagorda (including East Matagorda), San Antonio, Aransas and Corpus Christi Bays, upper Laguna Madre and lower Laguna Madre from 1 September 1979 to 31 August 1980. These fishermen expended 2,256,600 man-h to catch an estimated 1,138,000 fishes (457,700 kg). Spotted seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus), Atlantic croaker (Micropogonias undulatus) and sand seatrout (C. arenarius) constituted over 72% of all fish landed. Annual catch rates for all fishes combined ranged from 0.39 to 0.55 fish/man-h in all bays except in Galveston Bay where the catch rate was 0.62 fish/man-h. The smallest fishes landed were Atlantic croaker (0.09-0.30 kg) and sand seatrout (0.21-0.35 kg); the largest fishes were black drum (Pogonias cromis) (0.33-2.70 kg) and gafftopsail catfish (Bagre marinus) (0.93-1.43 kg). Generally, pass and jetty sport boat fishermen in all areas had lower catch rates during the low use season (November-May) (0.12-0.63 fish/man-h) than during the high use season (May-November) (0.23-1.19 fish/man-h). Mean high use season catch rates for Gulf of Mexico fishermen ranged from 0.13 to 0.54 fish/man-h. Catch rates were generally higher for king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla), red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) and other fishes (0.01-0.33 fish/man-h) than for all other species. King mackerel mean weights generally declined from those in 1978 (4.18-6.87 kg) through 1980 (2.50-4.57 kg) in all areas. With the exception of red snapper, sand seatrout and other fishes catch rates during the low use season were generally </= 0.01 fish/man-h.


64 pgs.


fishermen, catch statistics, spotted seatrout, Cynoscion nebulosus, Atlantic croaker, Micropogon undulatus, sand seatrout, Cynoscion arenarius, recreation, catch composition, gafftopsail catfish, king mackerel, Scomberomorus cavalla, red snapper, Lutjanus campechanus, black drum