Alternate Title

Reproduction and Growth of Black Drum, Pogonias cromis, in Northeast Florida


Age, growth, and reproduction of black drum, Pogonias cromis, in northeast Florida were investigated between December 1983 and April 1985. Male black drum began maturing at 450-499 mm total length (TL), with 50% of them reaching maturity at about 590 mm (age 4 or 5). Vitellogenesis began at 450-550 mm TL, with 50% of the females reaching maturity at 650-699 mm (age 5 or 6). Spawning occurred during January - April. Thin sections of otoliths displayed distinct opaque bands; the first three or four of these bands were verified by marginal increment analysis as being annuli deposited during March - May. The growth rate was about 100 mm yr-1 for ages 1·3 and gradually slowed to 10·30 mm yr-1 for ages 15-20. Male and female growth rates did not differ significantly, at least through age 4. Length at age was predicted well by the equation mm TL = 1172 mm (1 - exp (- 0.12 (AGE+ 1.3))). The apparent maximum age of black drum is about 50-60 years.