Trends in relative abundance of selected shellfishes and finfishes along the Texas Coast: January 1977-December 1987
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Trends in relative abundance and size of brown shrimp (Penaeus aztecus), white shrimp (P. setiferus), pink shrimp (P. duorarum), blue crab (Callinectes sapidus), and Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) in Texas marine waters were monitored using a standardized fishery independent sampling program. Bag seines were used along bay shorelines, trawls in bay water >= 1.0 m deep and in the Texas Territorial Sea (gulf water >= 11.8 m deep). Oyster dredges were used to sample in bay reef and non-reef areas. Coastwide brown shrimp catch rates increased in bag seines and bay trawls in 1987, but decreased in gulf trawls. White shrimp catch rates declined in both bag seines and bay trawls, and decreased by 50% in gulf trawls. Pink shrimp catch rates increased in bag seines during 1986-1987, but remained stable for bay and gulf trawls. Catch rates of blue crabs decreased from 1986 in bay and gulf trawls, but increased in bag seines. Catch rates of associated finfishes in trawls varied among years. Highest catches of market oysters occurred during December.