Survival of Hook-caught Red Drum

Sub-legal red drum (<355 mm) collected with angling gear during 1988 and 1989 were held in confinement to evaluate post-hooking survival. Short-term posthooking survival was 84% in both years. Most fish were hooked in the maxilla area and 92% of these individuals survived. Gill-hooked fish comprised 13% of the red drum collected and exhibited 68% survival. Only 10% were hooked in the esophagus; however, these fish had the lowest survival (47%). Angler recapture rates of marked hookcaught red drum were similar to those of marked net-captured fish during 1988. The significant difference in return rates during 1989 is likely a result of poor tag performance and not post-hooking mortality.

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