A summer study of the biology and ecology of East Bay, Texas. Part II. The fish fauna of East Bay, the Gulf beach, and summary.
Reid, G.K., Jr.
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Faunal collections were made with otter trawls, seines, a trammel net and other gear. A total of 26,851 fish specimens were caught in the bay. Of these, 19,055 fishes were taken in the otter trawl, 7,425 in the seines, and 371 by means of a trammel net. Fifty species of cartilaginous and bony fishes were recorded for East Bay. These species represent forty-six genera and thirty families. Anchovies (Anchoa mitchilli diaphana and A. hepsetus), spot (Leiostomus xanthurus), croaker (Micropogon undulatus), and menhaden (Brevoortia patronus) were the most conspicuous fishes during the period of investigation. Within the bay, there were indications of distributional patterns wherein some species were found more abundantly in certain areas. The great numbers of young Micropogon undulatus, Leiostomus xanthurus, and Brevoortia patronus pointed to the role of the bay as a nursery ground. Predation on the young fishes was severe, especially on Brevoortia patronus. Food was apparently abundant; zooplankters, shrimp and a pelecypod, Macoma mitchelli, were taken by many species. Only a few species showed evidence of active breeding during the summer. Collections in the Gulf caught 4,540 specimens of fishes representing 25 species. Five species taken in the Gulf were not caught in the Bay. Of the species common to both areas, size differences and variations in relative abundance were observed.