The spotted seatrout grows to a maximum size of approximately 100 cm (3.3 feet) total length (TL) and may weigh as much as 7.9 kg (17.4 pounds). The lifespan is approximately 18 years (Hoese and Moore 1977; Johnson and Seaman 1986). Throughout Florida, young males outnumber young females, but females tend to live longer than males (Klima 1959; Moffett 1961; Rutherford et al. 1982). Based on growth ring analysis of scales, females also tend to grow somewhat faster than males (Moffett 1961), with growth averaging 0.7 - 13 cm (0.3 - 5.1 inches) per year, depending on age. Rutherford et al. (1982) reported growth is fastest during the first year, with a growth rate of approximately 21.2 cm (8.3 inches). This rate slows to approximately 4-5 cm (1.6 - 2 inches) per year for fish Ages II - IV. In the oldest fishes studied, growth slowed to approximately 2.2 cm (0.8 inches) per year.Growth rates in Cynoscion nebulosus are temperature dependent, generally slowing or stopping completely in the winter months due to slowing metabolism and reduced feeding (Guest and Gunter 1958; Tabb 1961). Growth rates are highest in July and August (Pearson 1929; Moffett 1961). Murphy and Taylor (1994) estimated length-weight relationships among spotted seatrout in different regions of Florida. They reported that in all areas, males are heavier than females of the same length. Further, there was some difference between estuaries in terms of weight at any given length, with fishes from the Indian River Lagoon and Apalachicola Bay tending to be heavier than seatrout collected from Charlotte Harbor.
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