Hatchery Raised Red Drum and Spotted Sea Trout

CCA Incubation Room. Image courtesy of Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine.

The CCA Marine Development Center in Corpus Christi produces juvenile red drum and spotted sea trout for release into Texas bays. They do it by tricking wild brood stock.

We put them through a 150-day light and temperature cycle to condense their year down and get them to spawn when we want them to.

Ashley Fincannon is Hatchery Manager

It’s volitional spawning so they are just freely spawning freely in the tanks at night. When the eggs are fertilized, they are buoyant, and they end up at the top of the tanks and end up going in to our egg collectors.

We take those eggs into our incubator room where we hatch them out. They are pretty rapidly developing fish so if we had fish that spawned last night, by this afternoon around six, those fish would be hatching out, they would be feeding on their yolk sack, by three days, they have consumed their yolk sack, their eyes are formed, their mouth is formed, their gut is formed and they are ready to go out and eat.

On the third day, we stock them to our outdoor rearing ponds where we grow them out about 35-40 days where they reach that targeted 35-40-millimeter mark for size at release.

Go to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website to learn more about the hatchery or to plan a visit; search for CCA Marine Development Center.

The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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