Alternate Title

Life History Metrics of Wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri) in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

Document Type



Wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri) are highly sought in recreational and commercial fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), yet the harvest of Wahoo is currently unmanaged in the GOM region outside of Florida waters. Life history metrics are critical to stock assessments and science-based management. Between 2014-2017, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologists collected Wahoo otoliths and ovaries (n=198) from the northern GOM Wahoo recreational fishery based in Venice, LA to estimate life history metrics of age, growth, and maturity. A protocol was developed to section and age the small, fragile otoliths. A 2-parameter Von Bertalanffy growth model was the most biologically relevant considering the lack of smaller Wahoo sampled. The growth parameters were similar to estimates from prior Wahoo ageing studies. Maturity was determined for 31 female wahoo. When using cortical alveolar oocyte development as the indicator of physiological sexual maturity, binomial logistic regression indicated the length and age at 50% sexual maturity for female Wahoo in the northern GOM was 1015 mm FL and 0.92 years, respectively, similar to previous Wahoo maturity estimates in the GOM and Atlantic. However, when using the tertiary vitellogenic oocyte stage to estimate maturity based on spawning capable females (n=8), the length and age at 50% spawning capable maturity was 1411 mm FL and 3.5 years, respectively. The difference between these 2 maturity measures may indicate that physiological sexual maturity does not give an accurate depiction of the spawning stock.

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Lang et al. Supplemental Figure S1.pdf (107 kB)
Supplemental Figure S1

Lang et al. Supplemental Figure S2.pdf (26 kB)
Supplemental Figure S2