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Publication Title

Fishery Bulletin








We used otolith ageing to describe the population dynamics of black drum, Pogonias cromis, collected over a three-year period from the Chesapeake Bay region's commercial and recreational fisheries. Black drum average age, total length, and weight were 26 years, 109.5 cm, and 22.1 kg respectively. The oldest fish was 59 years and fish older than 50 years were present in the catch from 1990 to 1992. Growth in length slowed by age 20, whereas growth in weight did not slow until age 45. A von Bertalanffy growth function was fitted to our data (L(infinity) = 117.3 cm, K=0.105, t(0)=-2.3 yr) and was similar to that for northeast Florida, but dissimilar to that for the Gulf of Mexico. Fish grow slower but reach larger sizes in the Atlantic than in the Gulf. Estimates of instantaneous total mortality, Z, from maximum age and catch-curve analyses were low, 0.08-0.13, indicating that fishing mortality is also low in the Chesapeake Bay region. Studies to date lend support to the hypothesis that black drum from the east coast of the United States are from a common stock. The fishery of the Chesapeake Bay region is made up of old, large migrants from that larger population and should be managed accordingly.

Original Publication Citation

Jones, C.M., & Wells, B. (1998). Age, growth, and mortality of black drum, Pogonias cromis, in the Chesapeake Bay region. Fishery Bulletin, 96(3), 451-461.