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Spotted Sea Trout    Spotted Seatrout - Cynoscion nebulosus

Family Sciaenidae, DRUMS

Description: dark gray or green above, with sky-blue tinges shading to silvery and white below; numerous distinct round black spots on back, extending to the dorsal fins and tail; no barbels; no scales on the soft dorsal fin; one or two prominent canine teeth usually present at tip of upper jaw

Similar fish: other seatrout

Where found: inshore and/or nearshore over grass, sand, and sandy mud bottoms; move into slow-moving or still, deep waters in cold weather

Size: common to 4 pounds on west coast, larger on east coast

Remarks: matures during first or second year and spawns inshore from March through November, often in association with seagrass beds; lives mainly in estuaries and moves only short distances; adults feed mainly on shrimp and small fish; prefers water temperatures between 58 and 81 degrees Fahrenheit, may be killed if trapped in shallow water during cold weather; longevity 8 to 10 years