Southern Saltwater Fly Fishing Magazine
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CLOSE LOOK: Mangrove Cay
Texas Inshore Fish Spawn Despite Hurricanes
Photo by Dave Harp
Even a Category 4 hurricane doesn’t kill the mood for coastal fish – and that’s good news for all species, as well as for a multibillion-dollar recreational fishing industry. As extreme weather patterns threaten to bring more and larger storms to the Gulf Coast, new findings from the University of Texas at Austin’s Marine Science Institute show some important fish species are able to continue spawning even in a severe storm.
“This data gives us a little insight into how key species will handle changing and unpredictable conditions,” said Christopher Biggs, a Ph.D. candidate studying fisheries ecology and lead author on a paper published this week in Biology Letters. “They are somewhat preadapted to this. They regularly deal with changing situations. They might be better suited to handle the changing climate in the future.”
Biggs and a team of scientists from the University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI) and the University of Florida discovered that spotted seatrout kept spawning in late August 2017, even as the eye of Hurricane Harvey passed overhead, bringing with it windspeeds of up to 134 miles per hour and a storm surge of 8-10 feet.