Recruitment timing and spatial patterns of estuarine use by young-of-the-year Florida pompano, Trachinotus carolinus, in northeastern Florida
Abstract:Florida pompano, Trachinotus carolinus (Linnaeus, 1766), support an important commercial and recreational fishery along the southeastern coast of the United States. Within Florida waters, the pompano has been classified as overfished. Young-of-the-year (YOY) pompano (≤ 80 mm SL) have been thought to almost exclusively recruit to high-energy coastal beach habitats; few accounts document these fish entering estuarine waters. We collected 1972 YOY pompano from May 2001 to December 2007 within the estuarine waters of northeastern Florida tidal rivers. All fish were collected between April and November, with peak abundance of early YOY pompano (< 20 mm SL) collected in May. Daily growth estimates ranged from 0.1 to 0.4 mm d−1. Within the estuaries, YOY pompano were primarily collected over unvegetated, sandy shorelines similar to coastal beach habitats. ANCOVA models indicated that relative abundances were influenced by habitat, season, and proximity to coastal inlets. Our results detailing the use of estuarine habitats by juvenile pompano provides new early life history data on a relatively unstudied species of commercial and recreational importance.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 2009
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