Assessment and monitoring of Texas coastal finfish resources.
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The abundance and size of red drum (Sciaenops ocellata), black drum (Pogonias cromis), spotted seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus), sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus) and southern flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma) during October 1977 through May 1978 was determined in each of seven Texas bay systems (Galveston, Matagorda, San Antonio, Aransas and Corpus Christi Bays and upper and lower Laguna Madre systems) using gill nets, trammel nets, bag seines and push nets. In addition, the abundance and size of each of the five species during this same period in the East Matagorda Bay system were determined using gill nets. A standardized, highly structured, random sampling scheme was employed in each bay system. Catch and mean size data obtained from gill and trammel nets during this 8-month period is summarized and compared to similar data collected during the preceding 2-yr period in order to develop long-term trend information on population stability. Bag seines and push nets are evaluated as possible devices for capturing small-sized fish and pertinent data is summarized to provide a historical baseline with which to compare future estimates of population stability.