Recreational and commercial finfish catch statistics for Texas bay systems September 1978-August 1979
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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 1978 to 31 August 1979. These fishermen expended 2,360,800 man-h to catch an estimated 1,022,800 kg of fish. Black drum (Pogonias cromis), spotted seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus) and sand seatrout (C. arenarius) constituted over 76% of all fish landed. Annual catch rates for all fishes combined ranged from .18 to .39 kg/man-h in all bays except in Galveston Bay where the catch rate was .64 kg/man-h. The smallest fishes landed were Atlantic croaker (Micropogon undulatus) (0.19-.35 kg) and sand seatrout (0.20-.38 kg); the largest fishes were black drum (0.45-13.18 kg) and gafftopsail catfish (Bagre marinus) (0.95-1.45 kg). Red drum (Sciaenops ocellata), spotted seatrout and black drum constituted 79 % of the 1,999,600 kg fish landed by commercial fishermen. Almost all of these fish were taken by trotlines, gill nets and trammel. Boat fishermen in the pass and jetty areas had annual catch rates ranging from 0.32 kg/man-h in the Galveston area to 0.77 kg/man-h in the Aransas-Corpus Christi area. Spotted seatrout, sheepshead (Archosarus probatocephalus) and other fishes dominated the landings. Boat fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico had annual catch rates ranging from 0.45 kg/man-h to 0.65 kg/man-h except for off the lower Laguna Madre where the catch rate was 1.74 kg/man-h. King mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla) and red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) dominated the Gulf catches.