Red Drum Stock Enhancement in Texas: Ecophysiological Analysis and Insights

Thursday, September 12, 2013: 2:00 PM
Manning (The Marriott Little Rock)
William H. Neill , Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Robert R. Vega , CCA Marine Development Center, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Corpus Christi, TX
Our ecophysiolgical analysis of stocking, juvenile-abundance, and sport-fishery-catch data for red drum (RDM) in Texas led to these major conclusions:  1)  For reported catches of RDM, and for the stock sizes estimated via our modeling, between 10 and 20 % of the fishable stock in Texas tended to be caught, over the period of record (1982-2001).  The analysis suggests that the % take is a declining (power) function of the number of fish entering the slot (20-28 in)--with the middle part of the relationship being for an estimated stock size of 1 to 2 million fish.  2)  % contribution of hatchery RDM to sport-fishery catch, as a function of estimated stock size, has averaged about 15 %, with the heart of the scatter between 10 and 30 %.  The % contribution tended to fall below 10 % only when a) too little stocking was done (< 15 % of modeled need), or b) there was substantial overstocking (> 250 % of modeled need).