Biloxi, MS, United States
Biloxi, MS, United States

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Peterson M.S.,University of Southern Mississippi | Havrylkoff J.-M.,University of Southern Mississippi | Grammer P.O.,University of Southern Mississippi | Mickle P.F.,141 Bayview Avenue | Slack W.T.,U.S. Army
Transactions of the American Fisheries Society | Year: 2016

The spatial and seasonal occupancy by Gulf Sturgeon Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi was estimated using acoustically tagged fish in the Pascagoula River estuary over a 3-year period (2010–2013) and was based on 131,381 detections. Juveniles spent considerably more time in the estuary than subadults or adults, but that varied by year. Gulf Sturgeon of all size-classes entered the acoustic array earlier when stream discharge was high (2011, 2012) compared with when it was lower (2010). The difference was about 14–28 d earlier for adults and subadults but only 12–17 d for juveniles. Temporally, there were no significant differences in occupancy by year or season for adults or subadults or by year for juvenile Gulf Sturgeon, suggesting repeated patterns across the 3 years of this study. Significant and consistent spatial differences in occupancy occurred by array zone, with juveniles occupying the West zone more than the East and River zones of the acoustic array; however, occupancy in the River zone was greater than in the East zone. We found similar patterns for subadults, with the highest occupancy in the West zone compared with the East zone; use was higher in the River zone than in the East zone but there was no difference between the River and West zones. In contrast, no year, season, or zone patterns were identified for adult Gulf Sturgeon, suggesting annual movement along a defined travel corridor (from the River zone to the West zone to offshore islands), with little time spent in the estuary. Adults appear to move quickly through the system during emigration (fall) and immigration (spring) compared with longer but more variable occupancy for juveniles and subadults. Our long-term data illustrates the importance of habitat connectivity in the recovery of Gulf Sturgeon and enhances earlier work on estuarine zones used during migration periods and estuarine residency; both are important for a better understanding of critical habitat maintenance and the development of a robust recovery plan. Received May 6, 2015; accepted September 2, 2015 © 2016, American Fisheries Society 2016.

Lemus J.T.,University of Southern Mississippi | Lemus J.T.,Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission | Sarkisian B.L.,University of Southern Mississippi | Lee M.S.,141 Bayview Avenue | And 2 more authors.
North American Journal of Aquaculture | Year: 2014

The Atlantic Croaker Micropogonias undulatus (Sciaenidae) is a candidate species for marine baitfish aquaculture in the southeastern United States because of its high value and common use as live bait by recreational fishers. However, an efficient larviculture procedure has not been reported to date; development of such a procedure was the impetus for this study. Embryos were obtained from captive broodstock that were induced to spawn volitionally by using a single injection of a luteinizing hormone releasing hormone agonist. Larvae were cultured at low density (initial density = 6.4 larvae/L) via intensive culture methods, including the use of recirculating filtration systems and of rotifers, brine shrimp Artemia spp., and micropellets as larval foods. The trial was performed in six 1,100-L tanks at a salinity of 14-29‰, with average rearing temperatures of 23.6°C and 24.6°C. At the completion of the study (39 d posthatch), mean SLs were 24.7 mm (SE = 0.738) for larvae cultured at 24.6°C and 23.0 mm (SE = 0.624) for larvae cultured at 23.6°C. Mean survival at 39 d posthatch was 25.9% and did not differ significantly between temperature groups. This work demonstrated a successful methodology for intensive larviculture of Atlantic Croakers and can serve as a platform for the experimentation that will be necessary to develop economically viable procedures for intensive production of this species. Received May 10, 2013; accepted August 24, 2013. © 2014 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Mickle P.F.,141 Bayview Avenue | Franks J.S.,University of Southern Mississippi | Kreiser B.R.,University of Southern Mississippi | Gray G.J.,University of Southern Mississippi | And 2 more authors.
Southeastern Naturalist | Year: 2015

Alosa alabamae (Alabama Shad) is an imperiled anadromous species that reproduces in northern Gulf of Mexico drainages. To date, there have only been 4 vouchered specimens collected from marine waters, but none have been verified with molecular techniques. On 28 March 2013, we collected a single adult female in proximity to a barrier island (Petit Bois) off the coast of Mississippi. Microsatellite DNA analysis corroborated the identification of this individual and suggested that the specimen was most genetically similar to the group from the Pascagoula River drainage rather than other portions of the range. Thus far, research has been focused on the species' freshwater life history, and it is crucial that more effort be directed toward documenting and understanding the full life history of this threatened fish.

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