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Publication Title

Fishery Bulletin








Black drum, Pogonias cromis along the U.S. East Coast is subject to commercial and recreational harvest. However, prior to this study no modeling had been undertaken to examine the potential for overfishing in the Chesapeake Bay region. We present evidence from yield-per-recruit models that growth overfishing of black drum is unlikely under current fishing practices in this region. Particular attention was given to fishing practices in the Chesapeake Bay region where old, large fish predominate in the commercial and recreational catches (mean age=26 years: mean total length=108.4 cm; mean weight 22.1 kg). Yield-per-recruit model results showed that growth overfishing was unlikely in the Chesapeake Bay region under all but the lowest estimates of natural mortality (M=0.02-0.04). Such extreme low values of M predict potential life span of 200 years and were dismissed as improbable-the oldest age recorded for this species is 59 years. Additionally, biomass-per-recruit model results indicated a 42-59% decrease to current biomass from the unfished stock. The apparent age-specific migration of this stock argues for protection of young fish that have dominated the catch in Northeast Florida. Modeling indicated that growth overfishing could result from heavy fishing on these young ages and would all but eliminate this resource of the northern fishery.

Original Publication Citation

Jones, C.M., & Wells, B.K. (2001). Yield-per-recruit analysis for black drum, Pogonias cromis, along the east coast of the United States and management strategies for Chesapeake Bay. Fishery Bulletin, 99(2), 328-337.