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The 2014 Oklahoma Waterfowl Guide is now available!
To view the new guide, please view the Digital Edition. Check back in the coming days as we work to put up the new 2014 website.

Below is content from the 2013 guide.

Newcomers to Long Island Sound

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SPOT – is one of the most common bottom fishes in coastal and estuarine waters of the Atlantic, and has both commercial and recreational importance.

  • A small deep-bodied, compressed fish with an elevated (high) back. Body color is typically bluish-gray dorsally, fading to golden yellow or yellow-tan ventrally.
  • A set of 12–15 dark streaks run obliquely from the dorsal surface down the sides to about mid-body. These tend to fade with age. Fins are typically pale yellow in color. The head is short, with a small, inferior mouth (bottom feeder).

Spot grow to approximately 12 inches total length and weigh approximately ½ to 1½ pounds. In the first year it may reach 5 inches; in the second year, 8 inches; and in the third year 11 inches. The lifespan may be as long as 5 years.

The Atlantic croaker a similar species…is differentiated from the spot by having barbells on the lower jaw and a serrate preopercule (jagged, saw-toothed).

ATLANTIC CROAKER – is a silvery-pink fish that makes a loud “croaking” sound. Another very common bottom fish in coastal waters of the Atlantic which has both commercial and recreational importance.

  • Atlantic croaker has an inferior mouth (bottom feeder) with 3 to 5 pairs of small barbels on the chin.
  • They have a silver-gray or bronze body with dark oblique wavy bars or lines and are iridescent, especially on their head.
  • The preopercle (gill cover) is strongly serrated (teeth-like projections).

Croakers grow to approximately 20 inches in length and weigh ½ to 2 pounds on average… a trophy-sized one is 4 pounds. In the first year they may reach 6 inches; in the second year, 9 inches; and in the third year 12 inches. The lifespan may be as long as 7 years. Atlantic croaker “croak” by vibrating their swim bladders with special muscles as part of their spawning ritual.

NORTHERN KINGFISH – is popular with many saltwater anglers, and it’s no wonder. These fish are known to put up a good fight, and their tasty, white meat is well worth the effort. Northern kingfish are part of the drum family, Sciaenidae, which also includes weakfish, spot, Atlantic croaker, red drum and black drum. Since they lack an air bladder, Northern kingfish do not make typical “drumming” sounds like other members of the drum family, but they can vocalize somewhat by grinding their pharyngeal (throat) teeth.

  • Notable characteristics are the long spine on the first dorsal fin and a barbel on the chin. Dark, irregular bars are present along the body of the fish.
  • The first two bars form two distinct V-shapes. The bold markings and a dark longitudinal stripe behind the pectoral fins distinguish it.

Northern kingfish can grow 18 inches long and can weigh up to three pounds, but greater lengths and weights have been reported. Commonly, these fish range from 10 to 14 inches long and weigh from one-half to 1.5 pounds. The average life expectancy of the Northern kingfish is two – three years, although they are known to live as long as four years.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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