Weakfish

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Weakfish
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Actinopterygii
Order:Perciformes
Family:Sciaenidae
Genus:Cynoscion
Species:C. regalis
Binomial name
Cynoscion regalis
(Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
 
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Weakfish
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Actinopterygii
Order:Perciformes
Family:Sciaenidae
Genus:Cynoscion
Species:C. regalis
Binomial name
Cynoscion regalis
(Bloch & Schneider, 1801)

The weakfish, Cynoscion regalis, is a marine fish of the drum family Sciaenidae.

A large, slender, marine fish, it is found along the east coast of North America. The largest weakfish was 19 pounds 2 ounces. The head and back of this fish are dark brown in color with a greenish tinge. The sides have a faint silvery hue with dusky specks, and the belly is white. The origin of its name is based on the weakness of the mouth muscles, which often cause a hook to tear free, allowing the fish to escape. The weakfish grows to 1 m (3 feet) in length and 8.7 kg (19 pounds 2 ounces) in weight. It is found along the eastern coast of North America from Nova Scotia, Canada to northern Florida, where it is fished both commercially and recreationally.

In the mid-Atlantic states, the fish is sometimes referred to by the name sea trout, though it is not related to the fishes properly called trout, which are in the family Salmonidae. In New England it is also known as the squeteague.

The weakfish is the state fish of Delaware.

Management

Weakfish stocks have been low in recent years due to fishing and natural mortality increasing. Management of the species includes gear regulations, seasonal fishing, bycatch limitations, minimum size limits, and bycatch reduction gear. It is hoped that these regulations incorporated with others will help weakfish populations come back to a sustainable point.

References