Diel and Seasonal Occurrence of Immature Fishes in a Louisiana Tidal Pass

A 15-month study of a natural tidal pass on the southeastern Louisiana coast revealed that the pass and adjacent inshore waters are utilized by a variety of immature fishes as immigration pathway and! or nursery. Eighty species representing 39 families were found to occur in the pass area, including young of several commercial and sport fishes. Two seasonal assemblages of immature fishes were identified, cold- and warmwater. Coldwater species were mostly immigrating young of offshore spawners, while warmwater spec'es were mostly young of inshore spawners. The catch of coldwater species was lnfluenced more by tidal stages than light periods; warmwater species exhibited varied diel catch patterns but the catch of predominant warmwater species was more closely associated with light periods than tidal stages. The similarity in diel patterns exhibited by some of the coldwater assemblage indicates that this group may react similarly to the problem of inshore transport (immigration).

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