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Research - Recruitment

Recruitment in fisheries is defined as the number of fish surviving to enter a given life stage and is typically highly variable. Recruitment dynamics are the factors affecting the variability in recruitment and may include the number of spawners, environmental conditions, the rates of natural and fishing mortality, the availability of prey or the number of predators. Predicting recruitment can be difficult because these factors are never constant. The SCDNR marine stocking research program is using stocked fish to study the recruitment dynamics of important recreational species from the larval to juvenile stage, from the juvenile to subadult stage, and from subadults to recruitment into the spawning population. The release of hatchery fish can help fisheries managers identify critical bottlenecks in this progression.