Marine Science Faculty Publications

Population Dynamics of Anadromous Rainbow Smelt Osmerus mordax, in a Massachusetts River System

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Population dynamics of anadromous rainbow smelt, Osmerus mordax (Mitchill), in the Parker River estuary, Massachusetts, were investigated during the spring spawning runs of 1974 and 1975, and the winter recreational fishery of 1974-1975. Growth (in length) was greatest in the first year of life, and nearly ceased by age V. Avon Bertalanffy growth function fitted to the data (l = total length, mm; t = years) is: lt = 256.29[1 - e-0.6393(t + 0.0018)]. The length (L, total length, mm)/weight (W, g) regression is: log10W = −6.0315 + 3.3592 log10L. Parker River fish were partially recruited to the spawning population at age I and were probably fully recruited at age II. Total mortality was lower for females than males. Total annual mortality of adults averaged 72%. Fifty percent selection to the angling fishery occurred at 166 mm. Modeled values of fishing mortality that result in greatest yield per recruit to both the present angling fishery and a simulated dipnet fishery on the spawning grounds would probably be detrimental to future recruitment.

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Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, v. 107, issue 4, p. 535-542