Hogchoker - Trinectes maculatus

*Information from FAO Species Identification Guide Western Central Atlantic*

Maximum size to 20 cm.
Habitat, biology, and fisheries

Typically occurs in habitats with low water clarity, moderate oxygen concentration, and mud bottoms in shallow (50 to 60 m), inshore waters. Also ascends coastal rivers and enters fresh water. Spawning occurs May through October in inshore waters and estuaries. Eggs contain large numbers of oil globules and are positively buoyant. Following hatching, larvae move upstream and congregate in a low salinity nursery area on shallowmud flats close to the salt-freshwater interface where they remain during winter. As spring approaches juveniles move toward the spawning area. These 2 distinct movements, upstream toward
the nursery area in autumn and downstream toward the spawning area in spring, apparently continue at least through the fourth year.  As the fish mature they progressively increase their range of travel away from the nursery ground toward higher salinities. Juvenile salinity intolerance is not the driving mechanism of this migration pattern. Females growlarger and older than males; majority of individuals of both sexes mature as early as age 2 (greater than or equal to 70 mm total length);may reach 7 yrs of age. Feed on a variety of worms and crustaceans. Of no commercial or recreational importance; considered a trash fish. Collected incidentally in seines and bottom trawls.

East coast of USA (Massachusetts to Florida), throughout Gulf of Mexico, to Panama.