Assessment of Atlantic Red Drum for 1999: Northern and southern regions

Vaughan, Douglas S. and Carmichael, John T. (2000) Assessment of Atlantic Red Drum for 1999: Northern and southern regions. Beaufort, NC, NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service/Southeast Fisheries Science Center, (NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SEFSC, 447)

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An assessment of the status of the Atlantic stock of red drum is conducted using recreational and commercial data from 1986 through 1998. This assessment updates data and analyses from the 1989, 1991, 1992 and 1995 stock assessments on Atlantic coast red drum (Vaughan and Helser, 1990; Vaughan 1992; 1993; 1996). Since 1981, coastwide recreational catches ranged between 762,300 pounds in 1980 and 2,623,900 pounds in 1984, while commercial landings ranged between 60,900 pounds in 1997 and 422,500 pounds in 1984. In weight of fish caught, Atlantic red drum constitute predominantly a recreational fishery (ranging between 85 and 95% during the 1990s). Commercially, red drum continue to be harvested as part of mixed species fisheries. Using available length-frequency distributions and age-length keys, recreational and commercial catches are converted to catch in numbers at age. Separable and tuned virtual population analyses are conducted on the catch in numbers at age to obtain estimates of fishing mortality rates and population size (including recruitment to age 1). In tum, these estimates of fishing mortality rates combined with estimates of growth (length and weight), sex ratios, sexual maturity and fecundity are used to estimate yield per recruit, escapement to age 4, and static (or equilibrium) spawning potential ratio (static SPR, based on both female biomass and egg production). Three virtual analysis approaches (separable, spreadsheet, and FADAPT) were applied to catch matrices for two time periods (early: 1986-1991, and late: 1992-1998) and two regions (Northern: North Carolina and north, and Southern: South Carolina through east coast of Florida). Additional catch matrices were developed based on different treatments for the catch-and-release recreationally-caught red drum (B2-type). These approaches included assuming 0% mortality (BASEO) versus 10% mortality for B2 fish. For the 10% mortality on B2 fish, sizes were assumed the same as caught fish (BASEl), or positive difference in size distribution between the early period and the later period (DELTA), or intermediate (PROP). Hence, a total of 8 catch matrices were developed (2 regions, and 4 B2 assumptions for 1986-1998) to which the three VPA approaches were applied. The question of when offshore emigration or reduced availability begins (during or after age 3) continues to be a source of bias that tends to result in overestimates of fishing mortality. Additionally, the continued assumption (Vaughan and Helser, 1990; Vaughan 1992; 1993; 1996) of no fishing mortality on adults (ages 6 and older), causes a bias that results in underestimates of fishing mortality for adult ages (0 versus some positive value). Because of emigration and the effect of the slot limit for the later period, a range in relative exploitations of age 3 to age 2 red drum was considered. Tuning indices were developed from the MRFSS, and state indices for use in the spreadsheet and FADAPT VPAs. The SAFMC Red Drum Assessment Group (Appendix A) favored the FADAPT approach with catch matrix based on DELTA and a selectivity for age 3 relative to age 2 of 0.70 for the northern region and 0.87 for the southern region. In the northern region, estimates of static SPR increased from about 1.3% for the period 1987-1991 to approximately 18% (15% and 20%) for the period 1992-1998. For the southern region, estimates of static SPR increased from about 0.5% for the period 1988-1991 to approximately 15% for the period 1992-1998. Population models used in this assessment (specifically yield per recruit and static spawning potential ratio) are based on equilibrium assumptions: because no direct estimates are available as to the current status of the adult stock, model results imply potential longer term, equilibrium effects. Because current status of the adult stock is unknown, a specific rebuilding schedule cannot be determined. However, the duration of a rebuilding schedule should reflect, in part, a measure of the generation time of the fish species under consideration. For a long-lived, but relatively early spawning, species as red drum, mean generation time would be on the order of 15 to 20 years based on age-specific egg production. Maximum age is 50 to 60 years for the northern region, and about 40 years for the southern region. The ASMFC Red Drum Board's first phase recovery goal of increasing %SPR to at least 10% appears to have been met. (PDF contains 79 pages)

Item Type: Monograph or Serial Issue
Title: Assessment of Atlantic Red Drum for 1999: Northern and southern regions
Personal Creator/Author:
Vaughan, Douglas
Carmichael, John T.
Series Name: NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SEFSC
Number: 447
Date: 2000
Publisher: NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service/Southeast Fisheries Science Center
Place of Publication: Beaufort, NC
Issuing Agency: United States National Marine Fisheries Service
Subjects: Management
Item ID: 2132
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 26 May 2009 22:13
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 19:31

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