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Life history aspects of the hogchoker,Trinectes maculatus, in the Patuxent River Estuary, Maryland

Abstract

Information is presented on the abundance, distribution and seasonality of hogchoker life history stages in the Patuxent River Estuary. Egg collections indicate that the spawning area is located in the lower river in salinities greater than 9.0 ppt. Following hatching, during July and August, the larvae move upstream and congregate in a low salinity nursery area close to the salt-freshwater interface where they remain during winter. As spring approaches the juveniles move toward the spawning area. These two distinct movements, upstream toward the nursery area in fall and downstream toward the spwaning area in spring, apparently continue at least through the fourth year. As the fish mature they progressively increase their range of travel away from the nursery ground toward higher salinities. Life history activities were determined by monitoring an abundant 1963 year-class using three sampling techniques; meter nets, shallow and deep water trawls. The importance of various segments of the estuary for completion of life history cycle is emphasized.

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Supported in part by Maryland Dept. of Water Resources, Grant No. 1 and University of Maryland Water Resources Research Center, Project A-002MD.

Contribution No. 389 from the Natural Resources Institute of the University of Maryland.

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Dovel, W.L., Mihursky, J.A. & McErlean, A.J. Life history aspects of the hogchoker,Trinectes maculatus, in the Patuxent River Estuary, Maryland. Chesapeake Science 10, 104–119 (1969). https://doi.org/10.2307/1350839

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Keywords

  • Striped Bass
  • Nursery Area
  • Nursery Ground
  • Lower Estuary
  • Salt Wedge