Impact of Acoustical Human Made Stressors on the Spawning of Red Drum
Red drum are one of the most important inshore recreational fisheries in the state of South Carolina. Where do they spawn? That's a tricky question to answer for marine biologists.
Currently, we have no idea where red drum spawn in the inshore and offshore waters of South Carolina. However, we can use passive acoustics to listen to the estuarine soundscape and find these spawning aggregations, which will help us better understand dispersal of larvae, recruitment, and the replenishment of the adult population.
By locating these aggregations and studying their behavior, we can get a better handle how human-made stressors like climate change, chemical pollutants, and noise pollution may impact their reproduction and survival.
A USC ASPIRE 1 grant supported this research and provided Chris Kehrer (a past USCB graduate) an opportunity to perform research in the Montie Marine Sensory and Neurobiology Lab at USCB. Chris Kehrer was a coauthor of this manuscript and was able to land a job in marine biology and is now a naturalist at the Port Royal Sound Foundation. The title of the paper was "Long-term monitoring of captive red drum Sciaenops ocellatus reveals that calling incidence and structure correlate with egg deposition". This work was performed in collaboration with Justin Yost, Karl Brenkert, Tim O'Donnell, and Dr. Mike Denson at the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
*Picture of the student with the redrum is current student Bradshaw McKinney. Chris Kehrer (left) and Michael Powell are former students doing research. The other picture if of red drum larvae.