About This Fish

Speckled Trout

The speckled trout (Cynoscion nebulosus) is a common estuarine fish which is also known as spotted sea trout, Spec, Trout and Spotted weakfish. It belongs to the family Sciaenidae under order Perciformes of class Actinopterygii. It occurs in the western Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico ranging from Massachusetts to the Yucatan peninsula. It inhabits river estuaries and shallow coastal marine waters over sand bottoms and seagrass beds. It also occurs in salt marshes and tidal pools of high salinity. The fish prefers water temperatures which range from 18-23 0 C.

The speckled trout is a powerful fish with an elongated and streamlined body. Back of the body is silvery dark grey with bluish reflections and numerous round black spots are irregularly scattered on upper half that extends to dorsal and caudal fin. Spinous dorsal fin is dusky and other fins are pale to yellowish in color. Mouth is large and oblique with projecting lower jaw. The dorsal fin is divided into two by a deep notch. Dorsal fin contains 9 –11 spines and 25-28 soft rays while anal fin bears 2 spines and 10-11 soft rays. It has single and complete lateral line which runs from just behind the gill cover to the base of the caudal fin. Soft portion of dorsal fin is scale less. Small trout feeds primarily on small crustaceans and medium-size trout feed on shrimp and small fish while adult fish feed almost exclusively on other fish. It is preyed upon by predators including alligator gar, striped bass, Atlantic croaker, tarpon and barracuda. The spotted seatrout reaches sexual maturity at one to two years of age. It spawns in coastal bays, estuaries and lagoons. The younger female lays 100,000 eggs while larger female lays a million eggs each season. It’s life span ranges from 9 to 10 years

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Location Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
North Carolina