Age, Growth, and Mortality of Lane Snapper from the Northern Gulf of Mexico

Age, growth and mortality of lane snapper {Lutjanus synagris) from the northern Gulf of Mexico (Port Aransas, Texas, to Panama City, Fla.) were examined. Otolith sections from 694 fish collected from January 1991 to December 1994 were used to develop growth information using 2 methods (direct proportion and regression) of back-calculation. Fish ranged in age from 2 to 17 years and their size ranged from 210 to 673 mm total length. Males grew slightly faster and were larger at age than females; however, the oldest (age 17 at 500 mm) and largest (673 mm at age 11) were females. Full recruitment to the recreational fishery was at age 4-5. Estimated instantaneous total mortality (Z) ranged from 0.3750 to 0.5767. Natural mortality (M) ranged from 0.1125 to 0.2388.

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