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Welcome to the technical sessions schedule for the 2015 SEAFWA Annual Meeting.

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Tuesday, November 3 • 2:20pm - 2:40pm
Seasonal Abundance, Age Structure, Gonadosomatic Index, and Gonad Histology of Yellow Bass Morone Mississippiensis in the Upper Barataria Estuary, Louisiana

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Cynthia N. Fox, Mississippi State University; Allyse M. Ferrara, Nicholls State University; Andy Fischer, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries; Quenton C. Fontenot, Nicholls State University

The yellow bass (Morone mississippiensis) is a common, yet lesser known species of the Mississippi River drainage basin. To describe population level gonad development, seasonal abundance, and age and growth, yellow bass were collected biweekly with monofilament gill nets from 14 November 2008 to 17 November 2009 from the upper Barataria Estuary (UBE) in south Louisiana. Mean catch per unit effort (CPUE) for each sample date was used to describe the relative abundance of yellow bass in the UBE. CPUE was highest from February-April, indicating yellow bass use the UBE seasonally. Yellow bass abundance peaked as temperatures reached 18-22°C. Total length (TL; mm), weight (WT; g), and gonadosomatic index (GSI) were measured from each fish collected (N = 1,061). Age was estimated using sagittal otoliths and annulus formation was confirmed by marginal increment analysis. Gonad samples (N = 200), from fish collected throughout the year, were examined histologically to determine spawning period. Although yellow bass age ranged from 1 to 4 years, the population was dominated (95%) by the 2 year old age class. GSI noticeably decreased as temperatures reached 18-22°C, indicating spawning had occurred. Spawning activity was confirmed by the presence of post-ovulatory follicle complexes (POCs) in female gonads collected from January 2009 – April 2009. The use of the UBE by yellow bass in early spring was related to spawning activity and not water quality. This study provides important seasonal use, age, and reproductive data for yellow bass in the lower Mississippi River drainage basin.

Tuesday November 3, 2015 2:20pm - 2:40pm EST

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