Alternate Title

Coastal Origin of Common Snook, Centropomus undecimalis, in Florida Bay

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We used the elemental signatures of otoliths to investigate the coastal origin of common snook (Centropomus undecimalis) in Florida Bay, Florida and evaluate current management boundaries. We examined juvenile otoliths from Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) populations and determined that there were significant differences in several elemental ratios (Mn/Ca, Cu/Ca, Sr/Ca, Ba/Ca). In addition, a discriminant function analysis (DFA) indicated a significant separation between the juveniles from each coast and otoliths were never misclassified by coast, indicating a distinct difference in their otolith chemistry. Using only juvenile otoliths to derive a calibration function, a separate DFA indicated that the adults from Florida Bay likely originated from both coasts of Florida in roughly equal proportions. Although these preliminary results contradict tagging studies, they concur with genetic studies suggesting that both east and west coast populations contribute to the common snook found in Florida Bay.

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