Population Studies of the Sports and Commercial Fin-Fish and Forage Species of the Aransas Bay System - Analysis of Populations of Sports and Commercial Fin-Fish and of Factors Which Affect These Populations in the Coastal Bays of Texas



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Texas Parks and Wildlife Department


Juvenile trout, Cynoscion nebulosus, catch in 1963 was similar to that in 1962. A peak juvenile trout population of 9.7 million fish was calculated for September-November 1963, as compared to 8.8 million in 1962. Limited tag returns for adult trout indicated an annual fishing mortality of 5.9 per cent and "other losses" of 93.6 per cent. Adult trout population estimates were calculated from tag returns and by a catch per unit effort method. The results varied considerably. Juvenile redfish, Sciaenops ocellata, catch decreased 96 per cent compared to 1962. A freeze in 1963 was thought to be one reason for this decrease. Tag return data for adult redfish show 26 per cent return per year for three years. The adult redfish population, as computed by the area density method, was estimated to be 480,000 fish compared to the 1962 estimate of 918,000 fish. Per cent tag returns indicated a population of about 900,000 fish. The annual fishing mortality for redfish was estimated to be 25.8 per cent. The estimated drum, Pogonias cromis, population was 1 million pounds for 1963. An annual fishing mortality of 6.8 per cent was calculated for drum while other losses were estimated to be 45.7 per cent. The sheepshead population was estimated to be about 1 million pounds. There was a 75 per cent decrease in catch per unit effort for forage fish species in 1963 compared to 1961. Salinities increased 80 per cent. Croaker and menhaden catches reflected this increase in bay salinities by a decrease in abundance.


pages 335-354; available for download at the link below.


fish population, Aransas Bay, stock assessment