An evaluation of Northern Florida Bay as a nursery area for red drum, Sciaenops ocellatus, and other juvenile and small resident fishes.

Powell, Allyn B. and LaCroix, Michael W. and Cheshire, Robin T. (2002) An evaluation of Northern Florida Bay as a nursery area for red drum, Sciaenops ocellatus, and other juvenile and small resident fishes. Beaufort, NC, NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service/Southeast Fisheries Science Center, (NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SEFSC, 485)

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Abstract

Red drum is one ofthe most popular species sought by anglers in Florida Bay, yet juveniles are rarely encountered. We evaluated Florida Bay as a nursery area for red drum by sampling for recently-settled late larvae in basin areas within the bay with an epi-benthic sled at six stations in November 2000, and at seven stations during December 2000 through February 2001. In November 2000 we surveyed potential sampling sites in quiet backwaters adjacent to mangroves for juvenile red drum. A total of 202 sites were sampled mainly in northern Florida Bay and adjacent waters with a cast net. We collected only one recently-settled red drum larvae and no juveniles. Obviously the sites that we sampled in Florida Bay and adjacent waters are not nursery habitat for this valuable species. Sled collections were dominated by bay anchovy, Anchoa mitchilli, but densities were biased by one collection. Five small resident species were among the dominant species: rainwater killifish, Lucania parva; dusky pipefish, Syngnathus floridae; dwarf seahorse, Hippocampus zosterae; and clown goby, Microgobius gulosus. Three species that spawn outside Florida Bay in the GulfofMexico were common: pinfish, Lagodon rhomboides; pigfish, Orthopristis chrysoptera; and silver perch, Bairdiella chrysoura. Twenty-seven species were collected with the cast net. Hardhead silversides (Atherinomorus stipes), bay anchovy, tidewater mojarra (Eucinostomus harengulus), silver jenny (Eucinostomus gula), and goldspotted killifish (Floridichthys carpio) were the most common in cast net collections. Although only one red drum was collected, we were able to: (1) identify mesohaline waters from our cast net sites to test our preliminary assessment that mesohaline habitat might be limited in Florida Bay, (2) document the distribution and abundance of fishes collected by cast net that should enhance our understanding of ichthyofauna in the Northern Subdivision ofFlorida Bay and adjacent waters, and (3) from epibenthic sled collections, describe the habitats, abundance and distribution of recently settled larvae/small juveniles/small resident fishes during late fall and winter. This information should be useful to managers and future research. (PDF contains 34 pages)

Item Type: Monograph or Serial Issue
Title: An evaluation of Northern Florida Bay as a nursery area for red drum, Sciaenops ocellatus, and other juvenile and small resident fishes.
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Powell, Allyn B.
LaCroix, Michael W.
Cheshire, Robin T.
Series Name: NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SEFSC
Number: 485
Date: 2002
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
Ecology
Fisheries
Item ID: 2138
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 27 May 2009 14:57
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 19:32
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/2138

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