Preliminary report on the marine fisheries of Texas.




Higgins, E.
Lord, R.

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The Texas fisheries are largely for shore species taken by seines and gill nets in the sounds and inclosed bays. Redfish, trout, and black drum are the most important species. The imperfect records indicate either a horizontal or a slightly rising trend in the yield of food fish since 1890. The decline in the yield of several valuable species is compensated by the increase in the yield of black drum, which has been considered an inferior fish. A decline in abundance of fish is indicated by the fact that the market supply has not kept pace with the demand. The records are so inadequate that it is impossible to determine the cause of this virtual decline in the fisheries. It is possible that, in addition to natural causes, the stationary condition of the fisheries is caused by excessive legal restrictions. Present knowledge of the habits of the several species is very scanty. The two conflicting opinions are (1) that the fish spawn in the inside bays and (2) that they spawn in the Gulf and come inside only to feed. These problems have not been studied carefully, although such study is necessary for the proper regulation of the fisheries. The many fishery regulations in force are based upon incomplete or defective knowledge, and the men in the industry consider them to be unduly harsh. Recommendations for a program of conservation include the establishment of a system of fishery statistics, the initiation of biological investigations, and the reorganization of the game, fish, and oyster department.


p. 167-199.


marine fisheries, redfish, black drum, trout, reproduction, abundance, entangling nets, fishery regulations