Use of Otoliths to Age Black Crappie from Florida

The scale method and length-frequency analysis were not adequate for accurately aging and measuring growth rate of black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus) collected in Florida. Black crappie otoliths (sagittae) showed clearly recognizable: bands in whole view, suggesting possible use of otoliths to age black crappie. Otoliths satisfied necessary criteria for validating aging structures: growth was proportional to black crappie growth, annuli formed in the spring, and back-calculated lengths agreed with lengths for age-classes estimated from length-frequency analysis. We consider otoliths useful for accurately aging black crappie in Florida.

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