Alternate Title

Growth and Residency of Juvenile Fishes Within a Surf Zone Habitat in the Gulf of Mexico

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Over a 32-month study period, 154,469 fish representing 76 species were collected from the Gulf shore of Horn Island, Mississippi. Fishes collected were identified as either resident or migrant species according to length frequency data. The migrant component, dominated numerically by Anchoa lyolepis, represented the greatest number of species and individuals collected. Resident fishes constituted only six species but comprised 42.0% of all fish captured. The more abundant species residing within the Horn Island surf zone, Trachinotus carolinus, Menticirrhus littoralis, and Harengula jaguana, appeared to utilize this habitat as a nursery for approximately 3 months throughout the spring and summer period. Of these three residents, the two former species exhibited intermittent recruitment into the exposed beach habitat during the spring and early summer, whereas larval H. jaguana exhibited two distinct periods of immigration, occurring first in the late spring and again in midsummer.

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