Alternate Title

Habitat Use by Juvenile Gag, Mycteroperca microlepis (Pisces: Serranidae), in Subtropical Charlotte Harbor, Florida (USA)

Document Type



Estuaries play a key role in the juvenile stage of gag (Myeteroperca microlepis). The use of estuarine habitats by juvenlle gag has been examined in temperate estuaries, which are at the northern limits of the range of this species, but the importance of subtropical estuaries during the early life history of this species has not been studied extensively. Gag were collected in subtropical Charlotte Harbor, Florida, during routine monthiy sampling from January 1996 to Decemher 2002. Juvenlle gag were collected using a 21.3-m seine, a 183-m haul seine, and a 183-m purse seine. A total of 738 individuals ranging from 30 to 489 mm standard length (SL) were collected in 4,480 samples. Most gag (96%) were probably young-of-the-year (< 288 mm SL). The majority of juveniles were collected in polyhaline Gasparilla and Pine Island sounds from April to December, with a few larger individuals captured year-round. The observed period of gag settlement was similar to thet reported in other subtropical and temperate estuaries, but gag in Charlotte Harbor remained in the estuary longer and egressed at a larger size than did gag in other estuaries. Relative abundance of juvenile gag within Charlotte Harbor was greatest on shallow seagrass shoals but was also high along flinging mangrove shorelines, which is a habitat not previously reported for gag.

First Page


Last Page