Saturday, October 7, 2017

How fast does a drum grow?

I got a couple of tags off of drum this year with some interesting growth rates.   A lot of folks don't realize how fast these fish grow.....when they're little.   Nor do they realize how slow they grow when they reach about 40 inches.

Tag # 73284 was tagged by NC DMF in an electroshocking study on the Neuse River near Hancock Creek on March 21, 2014 when she was 17 inches long.   I recaptured her 3 1/2 years later at the mouth of the Neuse River at 38 inches.

Tag # 90896 was tagged by NC DMF longline study on Sept. 8, 2015 at 37 inhces.   Two years later, almost to the same day, I recaptured it in the same general location at 39 inches.

Not all fish are the same, but this is pretty indicitive of red drum growth rates.   They will grow as fast as an inch per month for the first 3 to 4 years until they reach about 35-40  inches, then growth rates slow way down to less than an inch per year.  Above 40 inches growth may slow down to only an 1/8 to a 1/4 inch per year.

It makes you appreciate a 50 incher which could be 40 years old or older!