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Georgia Journal of Science

Abstract

Alabama shad (Alosa alabamae), classified as a Species of Concern by the National Marine Fisheries Service, are native to the northern Gulf of Mexico drainages. Our study estimated the fecundity of 39 female Alabama shad from the Apalachicola River, Florida. Individuals ranged in age from 2-4 years with an average weight of 729 g. Samples (1 g) were cut from the center of each ovary, and oocytes present were counted. Diameters of 50 randomly-sampled oocytes were measured per sample. Oocyte diameters ranged from 0.3-2.7 mm, with a mode of 1.5 mm. The unimodal oocyte diameter percent frequency distribution suggests that Alabama shad spawn multiple times in a spawning season. Total mean ovary weight was 67.88 ± 25.90 (s.d.) g/individual, with average annual fecundity estimated to be 79,420 ± 26,896 (s.d.) oocytes/individual. Our results were consistent with previous Alabama shad fecundity studies out of the Apalachicola River.

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