Anchor Tags Affect Swimming Performance And Growth Of Juvenile Red Drum (Sciaenops Ocellatus)

Joseph E. Serafy, S. J. Lutz, T. R. Capo, P. B. Ortner, P. L. Lutz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Swimming efficiency and growth of anchor-tagged red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) juveniles were compared with untagged controls. The O2 consumption of fish swimming at different speeds was measured in a Blazka-type respirometer. Daily growth rates of tagged and untagged red drum were compared over 42 d of feeding fixed rations of live mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) to siblings held individually in 380 L tanks. At swimming speeds of ≤ 1.0 body lengths per second (bl s-1), no differences in O2 consumption were found. However, at speeds of 1.5-2.5 bl s-1, tagged red drum O2 consumption was significantly greater (by 36-39%) than that of untagged fish (ANOVA, P<0.05), indicating a substantially impaired swimming efficiency. Daily growth rates of tagged and untagged fish also differed significantly (P < 0.02). Tagged fish grew at a mean rate of 0.95 mm d-1 and 1.45 g d-1, while untagged fish (controls) grew at 1.14 mm and 1.62 g d-1. Results suggest that internal anchor tags, which weighed less than 1% offish body weight, represented a hydrodynamic drag burden that reduced swimming performance and growth. These effects may decrease growth and/or survival in the wild and thus bias estimates of biological parameters in stock assessment and enhancement studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-35
Number of pages7
JournalMarine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 1995


  • Sciaenops ocellat
  • Tags
  • growth
  • swimming performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science


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