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Lance Peterson, Baja Guide
 
Dominique Messeri

  

 In recognition of the significance of roosterfish to recreational fisheries in the Eastern Pacific, to ensure that roosterfish stocks remain productive, that the fish continues to be a valuable tourist attraction for recreational anglers, the Roosterfish Foundation is committed to developing a clearer understanding of the biology and habits of this coastal species.

     To that end, the goal of the Roosterfish Foundation is to gather the data necessary to aid in the enhancement and protection of this valuable aquatic resource.

Ed Kunze - Director


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Roosterfish Foundation Research Goals

Even though all fisheries have been diminishing over the last several decades, they still have subspecies in other parts of the world, including bonefish, tarpon, and permit. With the roosterfish, when they are gone, they are gone.

1) Age 

            a. Can the age of the roosterfish be determined? And, if so how does it correlate to the size of the fish. Lack of food can affect size, but this does not appear to be a factor. And there is abundant year round food supply, so without long periods of reduced eating (for instance trout in the northern climes), counting growth rings on scales or the inner ear bones may not be effective.

             b. It appears at the extreme ends of the habitat, they migrate more to the center and year round warm water. At what age to they start this migration?

c. How long do they live? Are they a fast growing fish like the dorado, and die after just a few short years, or more long lived and slow growing. This is very important to know because it is easier to damage the population of a slower growing fish than a fish with a shorter life span, yet is prolific a breeder. And, it takes long for the population to get back to sustainable levels with a slower growing fish.

2) Sex                                                                                                                   

             a) Are there identifying external means to determine the sex of the roosterfish?               

             b) Are the males and females of basically equal in size (assuming they are of the same age), or is one larger than the other, and why?

3) Spawning questions

             a) Do they mate for life, and travel as a pair, or is it more of a spontaneous situation?

             b) I have encountered what appear to be 3 and 4 month old small roosters in Baja Sur, and on the Mexico mainland coast. Are their defined spawn areas, or is it though out the habitat?

             c) How often does the female release her eggs, the gestation cycle of the egg? And under what conditions must be met before she does (water temperature, clarity, depth, distance from shore, etc.)?  

4) The namesake comb

            a) Is the comb used as a sexual attraction, and how?

            b) When chasing bait, or agitated, the comb goes to the vertical, otherwise it sits tucked down into a fleshy pocket similar to a sailfish. The enclosed comb, inside the pocket, helps to attain maximum speed.  The sailfish uses its sail to help crowd bait, and also when extended make it appear much larger in size when a predator is nearby. Is this also one of the purposes of the comb?

            c) How did the roosterfish get its name? We will probably never know, but it had to be after the Spanish Conquistadores arrived to the New World. This is common sense, because even though the turkey is native to the American continent, the chicken originated in India, and was eventually domesticated finding its way to Europe. So the word gallo did not even exist in the habitat of the rooster, until after the Conquistadores arrived. The only form or derivation of the word “comb” we have here on the American continent was from the quail, but that has to be ruled out due to the 7 spines making up the comb, much as the comb of a domesticated rooster has several indentations in its comb.

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