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Common Prey Items Along the Texas Coast: A Fly Fishing Perspective

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Presentation on theme: "Common Prey Items Along the Texas Coast: A Fly Fishing Perspective"— Presentation transcript:

1 Common Prey Items Along the Texas Coast: A Fly Fishing Perspective
Mark R. Fisher Science Director Rockport Marine Lab

2 TPWD Resource Monitoring Program Overview
Initiated in 1975. Stratified random sampling. Standardized methods. Gill nets (780/year). Bay trawls (1,680/year). Gulf trawls (960/year). Bag seines (2,160/year). Oyster dredges (1,200/year). Total—6,780/year.

3 Sample Locations, 1975-2007 All Gears Combined
360 fish species 324 invertebrate species

4 Diet of Legal-Sized Red Drum and Spotted Seatrout
Opportunistic predators. Diet reflects habitat, feeding mode, prey availability and prey size. Trout consume shrimp and fish. Reds consume crabs, shrimp and fish.

5 Don’t put your finger in there!
Upper Plate Lower Plate

6 Prey Items Can Be Highly Seasonal!
Spawning occurs in Fall (croaker), Spring (silversides), Winter (mullet), or year-round (blue crab, killifish). Rapid growth rates for some (shrimp ~ 1 mm/day); juveniles are typically the only edible size. Different life stages utilize different habitats—juveniles typically inhabit shorelines, subadults and adults in open water. Our bays are not food-limited!

7 Corpus Christi Bay Monthly Mean Water Temperatures

8 Gulf menhaden (Brevoortia patronus)

9 Monthly Abundance and Size of Menhaden from Coastal Bend Shorelines
Late Fall/Early Winter Gulf spawners, 115 mm by age 1, 5 years max age

10 World’s Largest Menhaden?
2.9 pounds, 18.7 inches!

11 Bay anchovy (Anchoa mitchelli)

12 Striped anchovy (Anchoa hepsetus)

13 Dusky anchovy (Anchoa lyolepis)
Maximum size – 90 mm Striped anchovy – 150 mm Bay anchovy – 100 mm

14 Distribution of Anchovies in the Coastal Bend

15 Dusky anchovy schools along Padre Island


17 Scaled sardine (Harengula jaguana)
Size range— mm

18 Spanish sardine (Sardinella aurita)
Size range— mm

19 Distribution of Sardines in the Coastal Bend

20 Distribution of Sardines by Salinity Zone

21 Mullet, striped and white (Mugil cephalus and M. curema)

22 World’s Largest Mullet?
30 inches, 7 pounds!

23 Killifish and Sheepshead minnow (Fundulus sp
Killifish and Sheepshead minnow (Fundulus sp. and Cyprinodon variegatus) 50-75 mm 50-75 mm 30-40 mm

24 Distribution of Cyprinodonts in the Coastal Bend

25 Killifish and Sheepshead minnow Habitat

26 Proof!

27 Inland silverside (Menidia beryllina)

28 Distribution of Silversides in the Coastal Bend

29 Pinfish and Atlantic croaker (Lagodon rhomboides and Micropogonias undulatus)

30 Monthly Bay Trawl Atlantic Croaker Lengths Length class, mm

31 Gobies Family Gobiidae

32 Shrimp eel (Ophichthus gomesi)
mm length

33 Brown, Pink, and White Shrimp
Browns are brown to olive green. Pinks are grayish to red-brown. Whites are bluish white. White

34 Browns, White, and Pink Shrimp Life History Overview
Offshore spawning Eggs hatch within 24 hours Postlarvae migrate into bays Fast growth, ~ 1 mm/day Migrate to deeper water as they get larger Brown—fall spawners White—spring spawners Pink—spring spawners. Browns & pinks burrow during the day

35 Brown Shrimp Distribution and Abundance

36 Brown Shrimp Distribution and Abundance

37 Coastwide Monthly Brown Shrimp CPUE Bay Trawls

38 Grass Shrimp (Palaemonetes sp.)
20-40 mm total length

39 Distribution of Grass Shrimp in the Coastal Bend

40 Other Shrimp Species

41 Sargassum Shrimp

42 Shrimp Flies

43 Crabs

44 Atlantic brief squid (Lolliguncula brevis)

45 Longfin squid (Loligo pealei)
Arrow squid (Loligo pleii)

46 Squid Mantle Lengths

47 Distribution of Squid in the Coastal Bend

48 Distribution of Squid by Salinity Zone

49 Good Fly Selections—Flats, Grassy Shorelines, Creeks

50 Good Fly Selections—Jetty and Surf

51 Want to Know More?


53 Common Bait Species Within Texas Bays
Pinfish Bay anchovy Inland silverside Gulf menhaden Mullet Sheepshead minnow Killifish Atlantic croaker Grass shrimp White and brown shrimp Blue crab Atlantic brief squid

54 Common Bait Species Along Texas Gulf Beaches
Mullet Striped anchovy Dusky anchovy Scaled sardine Spanish sardine Bay anchovy Rough silverside Seabob White and brown shrimp Blue crab Sargassum shrimp Sargassum crab

55 Common Bait Species in Redfish Bay, South Bay and B&R Flats
Pinfish Sheepshead minnow Inland silverside Killifish Mullet Bay anchovy Atlantic croaker Gobies Grass shrimp White, pink, and brown shrimp Blue crab Mud crabs

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