Weakfish Facts

Weakfish Facts
Weakfish is marine fish that belongs to the family of drums. It is also known as spotted sea trout even though it is not closely related with trout. Weakfish can be found in the Atlantic Ocean (from Canada to Florida). Depending on the season, weakfish inhabits coastal areas, or resides in deep water away from the shore. Weakfish prefers areas with sandy sea floor. Weakfish is very popular among anglers. Uncontrolled fishing is the greatest threat for the survival of weakfish in the wild. Despite sharp decline in the number of weakfish in the ocean in the last couple of years, this fish is still not on the list of endangered species.
Interesting Weakfish Facts:
Weakfish can reach 3 feet in length and 17.5 pounds of weight.
Weakfish has greenish-grey body covered with numerous purple, blue, green, reddish and golden speckles and dots. Lateral sides of the body are silvery colored, and belly is white. Weakfish has yellow-colored fins.
Weakfish has large, slender body with square-shaped tail. It has two large canine teeth in the upper jaw.
Weakfish has weak mouth muscles. Hook easily tears apart mouth of this fish, hence the name "weakfish". Thanks to this feature, weakfish quickly returns to the water (and escapes from anglers).
Weakfish is a carnivore (meat-eater). Its diet is based on herring, menhaden, killifishes, shrimp, squid, worms and clams.
Weakfish lives and travels in large schools.
Natural enemies of weakfish are bluefish, striped bass, sharks and lamprey.
Schools of weakfish migrate away from the shore, toward the southern, more warmer waters (wintering grounds) during the autumn.
Males produce croaking sound by vibrating abdominal muscles against swim bladder. Drumming sound is part of courtship and it can be heard during the spawning season.
Spawning season of weakfish takes place from April to August. Large number of weakfish gather in the estuaries and bays near the shore.
Weakfish return to the same estuaries each year to reproduce.
Fertilization of eggs takes place in the water. Females release their eggs every two to three day (or rarely once every couple of weeks).
Larvae and juveniles live in waters of moderate depth and salinity, usually near the underwater meadows made of eelgrass (which provide shelter and plenty of food). Juveniles leave nursery areas at the beginning of the autumn and migrate toward deep water. Weakfish reach sexual maturity at the age of one to two years.
Each year, more than 250.000 recreational fishermen visit Fortescue, "weakfish capital of the world", to fish weakfish in Delaware Bay.
Weakfish can survive up to 17 years in the wild. (12 years on average). Exact age of weakfish can be determined by the number of rings on the otoliths (tiny bones in the ears).

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