Post-release survival and movements patterns of roosterfish (Nematistius pectoralis) off the Central American coastline
Sepulveda, Chugey A.
Aalbers, Scott A.
Acoustic telemetry was used to assess immediate post-release survival and track the short-term movement patterns of roosterfish Nematistius pectoralis between 2008 and 2010. Seven roosterfish (85 to 146 cm fork length, FL) were continuously tracked along the Central American coastline for periods of up to 28 h following capture on recreational fishing tackle. All seven roosterfish were initially captured and spent the duration of the track period proximal to the coastline in waters <100 m of depth. From depth records and horizontal movements, it was determined that all seven roosterfish survived the acute effects of capture. The greatest depth achieved by any of the tracked individuals was 62 m and collectively roosterfish spent over 90% of the track records between the surface and 12 m. For all tracks, fish size showed no effect on maximum or average dive depth and the average day (7 ± 2 m) and night (6 ± 2 m) depths were similar among individuals. Mean water temperature for all tracks was 28 ± 1°C, with the lowest temperature experienced at depth being 23°C. Total horizontal movements from the roosterfish in this study ranged from 14.7 to 42.2 km and averaged 1.5 ± 0.4 km h-1. Data on movements in relation to bathymetry, prey presence and habitat structure are discussed. Collectively, these data provide insight into the immediate post-release disposition and short-term movements of this poorly studied species along the coast of Central America.