croaker

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croaker

croaker, member of the abundant and varied family Sciaenidae, carnivorous, spiny-finned fishes including the weakfishes, the drums, and the kingcroakers (or kingfish). The croaker has a compressed, elongated body similar to that of the bass. The name describes the croaking or grunting sounds produced by members of most species, chiefly during the breeding season. Croakers are found in sandy shallows of all temperate and warm seas. They range in weight from the 1-lb (0.5-kg) Atlantic croaker to the 150-lb (68-kg) common drum. The Atlantic croaker, common from Cape Cod to Texas, is an important food fish. The spot-fin croaker is found in the Pacific. The drums, the largest and noisiest croakers, include the red drum, or channel bass, of which over 2 million lb (900,000 kg) are taken per year off Florida; the common, or black, drum, found from New England to the Rio Grande; and the freshwater drum, found in central North America. The kingcroakers or kingfishes, also known as whitings, include the Northern kingfish, kingcroaker, or king whiting; the Southern kingcroaker, kingfish, or king whiting, also known as the sea mink; the gulf kingcroaker or kingfish, also known as the surf whiting; and the corbina of the Pacific. All average 3 lb (1.4 kg) in weight and 2 ft (60 cm) in length. Croakers are bottom feeders; those mentioned above have sensitive chin barbels to aid in locating their prey. The weakfishes, named for their easily torn flesh, lack barbels; they are also called sea trout. The common weakfish, or squeteague, abundant along the Atlantic coast, grows to 12 lb (5.5 kg) in weight and 3 ft (90 cm) in length. The more southerly spotted weakfish is similar. The white sea bass, weighing up to 60 lb (27 kg), is a Pacific croaker found as far north as Puget Sound. The spot, a small croaker, is commercially important in Virginia and the Carolinas, where the annual catch is estimated at 10 million lb (4.5 million kg) or more. Croakers are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Actinopterygii, order Perciformes, family Sciaenidae.
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This analysis identified a fixed set of 105 core stations and sampling was reduced to May and June only, except for July when weakfish were sampled (dropped in 1998; sampling in July was reinitiated in 2004 for spotted seat-rout), and only a trawl with a 3.2-m (10.5-ft) headrope and with 6.4-mm (0.25-in) bar mesh would be used.
Otolithus carolinensis = Cynoscion nebulosus (Cuvier): Spotted Seatrout, Spotted Weakfish; p.
Also known colloquially as bunker, pogies, or alewifes, they are the staple food for many commercially important predator fish, including striped bass, bluefish, and weakfish, which are harvested along the coast in a dozen different states, as well as for sharks, dolphins, and blue whales.
(41.) See GRIFFIN ET AL., supra note 38, at 2 ("While the shrimp fishery is one of the most economically significant trawl fisheries, the gear also targets a variety of other species, including flounder, scallop, scup, black sea bass, groundfish, Atlantic croaker, mackerel, weakfish, squid and conch.").
Variations in growth rate were reported among populations of the weakfish (Cynoscion regalis) in the Middle Atlantic Bight and were attributed to varying allocations of energy to somatic growth in relation to environmental and migratory requirements and the availability of food items in each habitat (Shephard and Grimes 1983).
The mean length of the numerically dominant species ranged from 10.3 (butterfish) to 24.4 cm (weakfish).
Shirley also writes "in the Chesapeake Bay, the percentage of menhaden in the diets of many recreational fish such as striped bass and weakfish has fallen from double to single digits in the last decade.
2,415.0 Northern kingfish Menticirrhus saxatilis 177.8 Gafftopsail catfish Bagre marinus 1,990.7 Irridescent swimming crab Portunus gibbesii 8.7 Flounder (family) Bothidae 1,699.4 Bonnethead shark Sphyrna tiburo 1,252.0 Atlantic cutlassfish Trichiurus lepturus 1,225.5 Black drum Pogonias cromis 1,402.7 Blue crab Callinectes sapidus Weakfish Cynoscion regalis Atlantic bumper Chloroscombrus chrysurus 1,062.8 Sand perch Diplectrum formosum 953.4 Longspine swimming crab Portunus spinicarpus 4.5 Vermillion (B-liner) Rhomboplites aurorubens 893.2 snapper Left-eye flounder Syacium spp.
Every three months, politically appointed commissioners from fifteen Atlantic states and two federal agencies spend the better part of a week in windowless hotel conference rooms in coastal cities, arguing and occasionally coming to some tepid agreement about how to regulate striped bass, weakfish, American lobster, horseshoe crab, coastal shark, and forage fish like herring and Atlantic menhaden.
So, scientists examined the technique used to dry processing waste from striped weakfish (Cynoscion striatus) in an air-circulating oven.
John Waldman, a professor of biology at Queens College, puts it this way: "I and others can visit a local bay or the surf for a few hours before or after work and have a chance to tangle with major inshore gamefish like striped bass, bluefish and weakfish. I don't have to drive all the way to Montauk to catch the same species." And if the fish aren't biting, you're within walking distance (or a quick bus or subway ride) of all the joys and temptations of the city.