Larval King Mackerel (Scomberomorus Cavalla), Spanish Mackerel (S. Maculatus), and Bluefish (Pomatomus Saltatrix) off the Southeast Coast of the United States, 1973–1980
Surface and subsurface ichthyoplankton collections were made from 9 m to beyond the continental shelf (deepest station 3,940 m) in all seasons from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina to Cape Canaveral, Florida. King mackerel spawn from April to at least September, primarily at depths >40 m. Spring spawning activity takes place further offshore than does summer spawning. An apparent concentration of larvae between 32° and 33°N suggests that the area of upwelling associated with the Charleston bump is an important spawning and/or nursery area. Spanish mackerel spawn from May to September in depths <40 m. Larvae were less abundant than those of king mackerel, and no areas of concentration were found. Vertical migration to the surface at night is indicated for both king and Spanish mackerels. Bluefish spawn bimodally from March through at least November in depths >40 m, with the primary spawning peak in spring and the secondary peak in late summer. In spring, larvae were caught most often between 32° and 33°N, but in summer-fall were taken more often at locations further south. Neither vertical migration or visually-cued net avoidance is indicated, but bluefish >4 mm are strongly associated with the surface.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1987-11-01
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