Alternate Title

Movements of Spotted Seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus) in Mississippi Coastal Waters Based on Tag–Recapture


Movement patterns of spotted seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus) were evaluated in Mississippi coastal waters by an angler-based tagging study from 1995 through 1999. During this period, 505 anglers tagged 15,206 spotted seatrout, the majority of which (84%) did not meet the state's legal minimum size limit of 14 inches (356 mm) total length. Overall, 408 (2.7%) tagged fish were recaptured and reported to project personnel. Over 90% of these recaptured fish moved less than 10 km from site of tagging to site of recapture (mean = 3.0 ± 0.41 km), and 82% moved less than 3 km. The greatest movement from tagging to recapture site by any fish was 60 km over a period of 200 d, and only three fish (0.7%) moved 50 km or more. Study results suggest that spotted seatrout in Mississippi waters comprise a nonmigratory fish stock, as has been found for this species in coastal waters of neighboring states along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.