Trends in relative abundance and size of selected finfishes in Texas Bays: November 1975- December 1987
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Trends in relative abundance and size of red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), spotted seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus), black drum (Pogonias cromis), sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus), southern flounder (Paralichthys 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 (Leiostomus xanthurus), and striped mullet (Mugil cephalus) have been monitored since 1975 using a standardized fishery independent gill net and bag seine sampling program in Texas bay systems. 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) bag seine catches. Fall and spring 1987 gill net catch rates for red drum decreased, spotted seatrout remained the same, and black drum fall catch rates decreased while spring rates increased over 1986. The 1987 annual bag seine catch rates, however, increased for all three species. The 1987 data continue to show that 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.