Key to the estuarine and marine fishes of Texas.
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Persons attempting to identify estuarine and marine fishes found along the Texas coast face a serious handicap because the pertinent literature is vast and scattered through a variety of books and technical journals. This key is a compilation of that literature into a single volume and includes only those adult fishes known or expected to occur along the Texas coast. The area of coverage extends from Sabine Pass to the mouth of the Rio Grande River, and includes all estuarine waters and that part of the Gulf of Mexico above the continental shelf to a depth of 200 meters (656 feet). A few marine species that have been reported only from waters beyond the continental shelf are included because the location at which they were collected was close enough to the 200 meter boundary to indicate that they may venture into the area of coverage. Some families of freshwater fishes were also included to facilitate identification in the low salinity regions of the estuaries. The format consists first of a key to the orders, then families within orders, and finally species within families. Depending on their distribution, the families and species are distinguished as being freshwater (F), estuarine (E), marine (M), or any combination thereof. Both common and scientific names of families and species are given, except in certain instances where common names for species were unavailable.