Overwintering Population Dynamics of Centropomus undecimalis in St. Lucie River
Sixty-one common snook caught in the Indian River Lagoon by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) were measured, sexed, implanted with a Vemco acoustic transmitter, and released so their movement could be tracked. Snook were clustered based on movement between river systems during spawning and non-spawning seasons, resulting in four clusters: Resident, Spawning Transient, Overwintering Transient, and Traveler. Sex and length of individuals were compared between clusters using ANOVA to determine if these characteristics influenced movement strategy. Resident and Traveler snook had the most even sex ratio compared to other movement strategies. The majority of snook were categorized as Travelers but Spawning Transient snook had the highest mean length. It couldn’t be concluded that St. Lucie estuary serves as a significant overwintering habitat particularly for large, female snook, possibly due to small sample size.