Age and growth estimates of the winter skate (Leucoraja ocellata) in the western Gulf of Maine

James A. Sulikowski, Michael D. Morin, Seung H. Suk, W. Huntting Howell

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74 Scopus citations


Age and growth estimates for the winter skate (Leucoraja ocellata) were estimated from vertebral band counts on 209 fish ranging in size from 145 to 940 mm total length (TL). An index of average percent error (IAPE) of 5.8% suggests that our aging method represents a precise approach to the age assessment of L. ocellata. Marginal increments were significantly different between months (Kruskal-Wallis P<0.001) and a distinct trend of increasing monthly increment growth began in July. Estimates of von Bertalanffy growth parameters suggest that females attain a slightly larger asymptotic TL (L∞=1374 mm) than males (L∞=1218 mm) and grow more slowly (k=0.059 and 0.074, respectively). The oldest ages obtained for the winter skate were 19 years for males and 18 years for females, which corresponded to total lengths of 932 mm and 940 mm, respectively. The results indicate that the winter skate exhibits the characteristics that have made other elasmobranch populations highly susceptible to exploitation by commercial fisheries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-413
Number of pages9
JournalFishery Bulletin
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science


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