Accession Number : ADA180399

Title :   Species Profiles. Life Histories and Environmental Requirements of Coastal Fishes and Invertebrates (Gulf of Mexico). SEA CATFISH and GAFFTOPSAIL CATFISH,

Corporate Author : MISSISSIPPI COOPERATIVE FISH AND WILDLIFE RESEARCH UNIT MISSISSIPPI STATE

Personal Author(s) : Muncy,Robert J. ; Wingo,William M.

Report Date : OCT 1983

Pagination or Media Count : 26

Abstract : Species profiles are literature summaries of the taxonomy, morphology, range, life history and environmental requirements of coastal aquatic species. They are designed to assist in environmental impact assessment. Sea catfish and gafftopsail are not preferred sport nor commercial fish; however, their high abundance inshore along the northern Gulf of Mexico causes them to rank 2nd or 3rd and no lower than 13th of all saltwater finfish in angler surveys. Sea catfish comprised less than 2% in industrial bottom trawl fisheries although surveys in depths to 20 m revealed they comprised 2% to 36%, by weight, of the bottom fishes. Sea catfish attain sexual maturity before 2 years of age, and spawn from May to August in shallow bays. Adult males do not feed for 60 to 80 days while carrying fertilized eggs and sac-fry in their mouths. Juveniles remain in low-salinity estuaries until decreasing water temperatures cause movements into deeper channels and offshore waters. Adult fish prefer water temperatures above 25 C but remain inshore at temperatures above 10 C. Sea catfish and gafftopsail catfish have been collected from waters with salinities ranging from O to 30 ppt, but prefer water salinities above 10 ppt. Water depth preferences of sea catfish and gafftopsail catfish appear related to water temperature, salinity, and bottom substrate. As juveniles, both species are opportunistic feeders utilizing microcrustaceans, and as adults, they feed upon detritus, microcrustaceans, and larger invertebrates. Blue crabs and shrimp are considered major food items.

Descriptors :   *FISHES, *MARINE BIOLOGY, ADULTS, BAYS, BLUE(COLOR), BOTTOM, COASTAL REGIONS, CRABS, DEPTH, DOCUMENTS, ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT, ENVIRONMENTS, FISHERIES, FOOD, HISTORY, INDUSTRIES, INSHORE AREAS, INVERTEBRATES, LIFE(BIOLOGY), MALES, MEXICO, MEXICO GULF, NETS, NORTH(DIRECTION), OFFSHORE, PROFILES, REQUIREMENTS, SALINITY, SHALLOW DEPTH, SHRIMP, SUBSTRATES, TAXONOMY, TEMPERATURE, WATER, REPRODUCTION(PHYSIOLOGY), LIFE CYCLES

Subject Categories : Biology
      Biological Oceanography

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE