Length, Weight, Age, and Growth of Young-of-year Shoal Bass Raised in a Southwest Georgia Hatchery Pond

We measured total length and weight and estimated daily age of 50 young-of-year shoal bass (Micropterus cataractae) collected from a hatchery pond in southwest Georgia. Daily age was estimated using otoliths and was considered the median age of ring counts from one reader who counted rings in each otolith independently three times. This sample of young-of-year shoal bass averaged 28.55 days old, 24.04 mm in total length, and 0.13 grams in weight. Daily growth rates averaged 0.85 mm day-1. The length-weight relationship was described by the equation: weight = 0.0043e0.1399*length. The frequency distribution of daily ages was skewed, suggesting one main spawning period later in the season, lasting approximately 12 days, with young-of-year swim-up beginning 27 March 2003. These are among the first data on young-of-year shoal bass characteristics and we recommend further research to validate daily ring formation in otoliths of this species.

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