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Abstract

Ovaries of black drum, Pogonias cromis, collected from the Chesapeake Bay region in 1992, were used to describe reproductive strategy and fecundity. Histological examination showed that black drum spawn in the Chesapeake Bay region from April through early June. Distributions of oocyte diameter showed distinct oocyte-developmental groups indicating that Chesapeake Bay black drum are group-synchronous batch spawners. Female black drum are extremely fecund ranging from 414,000 to 3,736,000 hydrated oocytes (mean = 1,389,000) per batch with a spawning periodicity of 3.8 days. Estimates of spawning strategy, spawning periodicity, and batch fecundity for black drum from the Chesapeake Bay region were similar to reported estimates from the Gulf of Mexico.

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