Survival of Hook-Caught Spotted Seatrout

Spotted seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus) (242-585 mm total length) were captured by hook and line in 7 Texas bay systems and placed in wire cages during June to September 1981 and December 1982 to April 1983 to estimate survival of hook-caught handled fish. No significant difference (P> 0.05) in survival was found between fish which received a wide range of handling stress such as sport fisherman might handle them and fish handled carefully as controls. No significant difference (P> 0.05) was found among summer and winter survival of hook and line caught spotted seatrout. Significant differences (P < 0.05) in survival of spotted seatrout among bay systems may be attributed to differing handling techniques by area biologists, transport distance, or differing environmental conditions. Mean survival of fish, adjusted for controls, ranged from 50% to 100% in summer and 67% to 100% in winter. Management techniques which require the release of spotted seatrout will result in a majority of released fish surviving.

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