Speck, speckled trout, trout, truite gris (Louisiana French), yellowmouth
Iridescent, dark silvery-gray back and a silvery-white underside. Has black spots on its back, fins, and tail. Has a yellowish mouth and a few prominent, sharp canine teeth at the tip of the upper jaw. Normally 1 to 3 pounds, but fish larger than that are not rare.
Range and Habitat
Live in shallow coastal and estuarine waters over sandy bottoms, oyster reefs, and seagrass beds. They can tolerate a range of salinities, including hypersaline areas. Live in shallow waters during the warm summer months, move to deeper pockets of water in estuaries during the cooler months. Rarely migrate far from the estuary in which they were spawned.
Typically begin to spawn at age 1. Spawning season runs from April into September, peaking in April, May, and August. Males produce drumming sounds by vibrating muscles against their swim bladder to attract females. Spawn in schools in or adjacent to deeper, flowing waters in channels or passes. Females spawn 100,000 to 500,000 eggs every 4 to 5 days. Larvae feed on small crustaceans such as copepods. As they grow, they shift to larger prey including mysids and shrimp. Adults feed on shrimp and fish including anchovies, pinfish, silversides, striped mullet, Atlantic croaker, and Gulf menhaden. Can live up to 10 years, but few live longer than 4.