Seasonal Occurrence, Distribution, and Abundance of Larval Bluefish, Pomatomus Saltatrix (Family: Pomatomidae), in the Northern Gulf of Mexico
Few bluefish larvae have been reported from Gulf of Mexico waters, although adults are relatively common in the north-central and western gulf. We submit that the paucity of information on larval bluefish is an artifact resulting from inadequate sampling at the appropriate times and locations. We provide data on seasonal occurrence, distribution, and abundance of bluefish larvae from gulfwide surveys. Seasonal occurrence of larvae reported herein support adult gonad maturation data that spawning is bimodal and occurs during April and October–November. Larval bluefish in the gulf occur at water temperatures primarily between 22° and 25°C, at salinities >30‰, inside the 100 m isobath, and between 88°00′ and 93°00′W longitude. Bluefish larvae are rare in the eastern gulf off Florida. Based on an estimated egg incubation period of 30–36 h at 25°C and the size of most early larvae in our collections, we conclude that bluefish spawn in the sampling area. Spawning may be centered around hydrographically dynamic areas as evidenced by higher densities in riverine/oceanic frontal zones.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1995-03-01
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