Survival of Stocked Red Drum in Texas
Stocking with red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) fingerlings (25–30 mm TL) and conventional strategies for reduction of fishing mortality are major components in the fisheries management philosophy of Texas. Texas studies reveal high red drum survival 24 h after stocking and detection of some stocked fish in subsequent years. Beginning in 1994, three additional studies were implemented to assess survival of stocked red-drum fingerlings: (1) lengths of red drum caught in spring gill nets in stocked bays were compared with those from an unstocked bay by length-frequency analysis; (2) relationships between releases and subsequent relative-abundance indices were explored by regression analysis; and (3) fingerlings (25–35 mm TL) marked with oxytetracycline-HCl were released into selected bays for studies of the feasibility of monitoring stocked fish by means of ongoing monitoring programs. These and previous studies reveal variable survival of stocked red drum across locations, bays, times, and years. Preliminary length-frequency analyses reported here indicate that both survival of out-of-phase (spring) stocked fingerlings and increases in red drum relative abundance through the first 2 yrs of life may reach 21% in some Texas bays.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 March 1998
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