Assessment of Annual Relative Abundance and Mean Length of Six Marine Fishes in Texas Coastal Waters

Standardized fishery independent gill net and bag seine monitoring programs in 8 Texas bays from 1976 to 1982 demonstrated significant differences among annual indices of relative abundances of spotted seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus), red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), black drum (Pogonias cromis), sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus), southern flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma), and Atlantic croaker (Micropogonias undulatus) populations. These programs provide a more complete assessment of the fish populations than do commercial landings data because of the selective fishing inherent in commercial fisheries. The impacts of management decisions based on optimum sustained yield concepts, effects of catastrophic events, and stock-recruitment relationships can be enhanced by using measures of relative abundance based on fishery independent monitoring programs.

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