Reducing the bycatch in a commercial trotline fishery.
Reducing the by catch of red drum, Sciaenops ocellata, and spotted seatrout, Cynoscion nebulosus, in the Texas commercial trotline fishery is desirable. Hook placement within the water column was examined as a means of accomplishing this objective. The commercial trotline fishery was simulated in the Laguna Madre during February 1985 through January 1986. Requiring placement of trotline hooks on bottom will reduce bycatch of red drum, spotted seatrout, and other nonmarketable fishes and improve operational efficiency of commercial fishermen without significantly reducing catch of black drum, Pogonias cromis, a target commercial species. Other than crab and shrimp being more effective baits than oleander leaves, no other generalization could be made concerning baits and seasons.