Age, Growth, and Reproductive Patterns of the Great Barracuda, Sphyraena Barracuda, from the Florida Keys
Abstract:Age, growth, and reproductive aspects of the great barracuda, Sphyraena barracuda (Walbaum, 1792), were examined in 467 individuals ranging from 182 to 1348 mm fork length (FL), collected in the vicinity of the Florida Keys from 1996 through 1998. Marginal increment analysis of sectioned sagittal otoliths indicated that a single annulus is formed each year during winter-spring. Male ages ranged from 0.7 to 11.3 yrs old, and female from 0.7 to 18.4 yrs old. The combined-sex von Bertalanffy growth model was Lt = 1236.4(1-exp[–0.26(t + 0.71)]), and indicated faster growth than previous estimates. Most males matured between 1 and 2 yrs of age (626–806 mm fork length, FL) and females between 2 and 4 yrs of age (710–985 mm FL). Based on gonad analyses and monthly length-frequency histograms of 510 juveniles collected in Florida Bay from 1994 to 1996, spawning and ingress of young-of-the-year into shallow nearshore habitats occurs from spring through fall. These data differ from previous studies, and should be considered in future stock analyses of S. barracuda.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2010-10-01
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