Fishes of the Texas Laguna Madre: A Guide for Anglers and Naturalists

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Texas A&M University Press, Jul 1, 2008 - Nature - 203 pages
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Anglers treasure the Laguna Madre, a shallow lagoon resting along one hundred miles of the South Texas coast that offers some of the best fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Its lush environment of seagrass meadows, tidal flats, submerged rock, jetties, worm reefs, mangroves, oyster beds, and open bays provides shelter, food, and nursery grounds for more than 100 kinds of fish, and in its upper portion, many popular game fish are at record levels.

In Fishes of the Texas Laguna Madre, longtime angler and fish biologist David A. McKee taps into a lifetime of fishing and studying the lagoon to give us an expert’s guide to this estuary and the fish that live there.

This book covers the natural history of the “Mother Lagoon” and provides information on the characteristics, life histories, ranges, and habits of the fish species found in this hypersaline environment. For some, and especially the “Big 5” coastal sportfish (spotted seatrout, red drum, black drum, sheepshead, and southern flounder), McKee offers additional notes on angling techniques, personal observations, record catches, and regulations. He also raises important conservation issues for boaters and anglers to keep in mind while enjoying this unusual ecosystem.

Visitor contact information (including the location of boat docks, boat ramps, and piers) rounds out the text, along with three maps of the Laguna Madre. Excellent black-and-white drawings of the fish, the majority by the late Henry “Hank” Compton, are featured throughout.

Fishes of the Texas Laguna Madre is for novices and “lagunatics” alike. It will be an invaluable guide for anglers and naturalists; canoers, kayakers, and boaters; students and teachers of fishery science; and anyone who lives near or has an interest in this unique and expansive body of water.
  

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Contents

Foreword
vii
Preface
ix
Acknowledgments
xiii
The Scientist and the Artist
xv
An Introduction to the Laguna Madre
1
Gulf Passes and Coastal Processes
19
Historical Fish Kills on the Texas Coast
25
The Worm Rocks of Baffin Bay
33
Issues and Concerns
39
An Introduction to the Fishes
45
External Characteristics of Fishes
51
Fishes of the Texas Laguna Madre
55
Visitor Contact Information
179
Glossary
185
Bibliography
189
Index
197

The Summer House
37

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About the author (2008)

David A. McKee is associate professor of biology at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi, where he is also the coordinator of the mariculture graduate degree program and the associate director of the Laguna Madre Field Station. He has fished the waters of the Laguna Madre for more than thirty years.

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