Trends in relative abundance and size of selected finfish in Texas bays: November 1975-December 1985




Crowe, A.L.
McEachron, L.W.
Hammerschmidt, P.C.

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Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Coastal Fisheries Branch


Trends in relative abundance and size of red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), spotted seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus), black drum (Pogonias cromis), sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus), southern flounder (Parlichthys lethostigma), Atlantic croaker (Micropogonias undulatus), sand seatrout (C. arenarius), gafftopsail catfish (Bagre marinus), Gulf menhaden (Brevoortia patronus), hardhead catfish (Arius felis), pinfish (Lagodon rhomboides), spot (Leisotomus xanthurus) and striped mullet (Mugil cephalus) have been monitored since 1975 using a standardized fishery independent gill net and bag seine sampling program in eight Texas bay systems. Fall and spring gill net catch rates indicate that declines in red drum and spotted seatrout populations have slowed or stopped since the prohibition of sale of these species in September 1981. However, the effect of these regulations has been affected by a coastwide fish kill caused by freezing temperatures during December 1983 and January 1984. Reduced population levels of red drum, spotted seatrout, and black drum following a freeze during 1983-1984 were observed in the 1984 and 1985 spring gill net catch rates and in the annual (1984) population levels were noted in fall 1985 gill net and in 1985 annual bag seine catch rates. Black drum catch rates increased in fall 1985 gill nets whereas 1985 bag seine catch rates remained the same. The impacts of management decisions based on optimum sustained yield, effects of catastrophic events and stock recruitment relationships can be measured by using estimates of relative abundance based on the fishery independent monitoring program.


259 pages


abundance, size distribution, Sciaenops ocellata, red drum, Cynoscion nebulosus, spotted seatrout, Pogonias cromis, black drum, Archosargus probatocephalus, sheepshead, Paralichthys lethostigma, southern flounder, Micropogon undulatus, Atlantic croaker, Arius felis, hardhead catfish, Bagre marinus, gafftopsail catfish, Leiostomus xanthurus, spot, Mugil cephalus, striped mullet