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Age and growth of tarpon, Megalops atlanticus, from south Florida waters
Crabtree, R.E.; Cyr, E.C.; Dean, J.M. (1995). Age and growth of tarpon, Megalops atlanticus, from south Florida waters. Fish. Bull. 93(4): 619-628
In: Fishery Bulletin. US Government Printing Office: Washington, D.C.. ISSN 0090-0656, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keywords
    Age; Biological age; Body size; Females; Game fish; Growth; Growth curves; Length; Males; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Crabtree, R.E.
  • Cyr, E.C.
  • Dean, J.M.

Abstract
    We examined 1,469 tarpon, Megalops atlanticus, ranging from 102 to 2,045 mm fork length (FL) collected in South Florida waters from 1988 to 1993. Females had a mean length of 1,677 mm FL (n = 322) and were significantly larger than males, which had a mean length of 1,447 mm FL (n = 125). Ages of 977 tarpon were estimated from thin-sectioned otoliths (sagittae). Eighteen tarpon were marked with oxytetracycline (OTC) to form a reference point on the otolith and were held in captivity for periods ranging from 13 to 50 months. Examination of OTC-marked otoliths suggested that a single annulus was formed each year. Marginal increments of young of the year and 1-year-old tarpon showed a single annual minimum during April-June. Tarpon are long-lived and reach a maximum age of at least 55 years. Growth of the tarpon in our study was rapid until an age of about 12 years and then slowed considerably. Male tarpon (n = 141) ranged from 0 to 43 years in age, and female tarpon (n = 298) ranged from 0 to 55 years in age. The von Bertalanffy growth equation for females was FL = 1,818(1-e super((-0.103(Age + 1.410)))) and for males was FL = 1,567(1-e super((-0.123(Age + 1.575)))). Estimates of the von Bertalanffy growth parameters L sub( arrow left ) and K for males and females were significantly different. Predicted lengths of females were greater than those of males for all ages greater than 4 years.

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