The growth history and recruitment dynamics of eel (Anguilla japonica) elvers were studied. Observations were based on growth increments in sagittal otoliths of elvers collected from Shuang-Chi River estuary off northeastern Taiwan, from November 1985 to February 1986. Total lengths of elvers upon arrival at the estuary were similar in most cases; mean total lengths were from 55.99 to 59.06 mm. Daily ages of elvers at arrival ranged from 112.8±9.4 (±SD) to 156.5±13.5 d, indicating that migration of eel larvae from their oceanic spawning ground to the estuary requires 4 to 5 mo. Elver hatching dates, back-calculated from estimated daily ages, indicated that the spawning season lasted 5 mo (from late June to early October). Furthermore, the earlier eels spawned, the earlier elvers reached the estuary. The transition in growth history during the larval stage was obvious, as indicated from the change in increment width in elver otoliths. The inverse correlation between daily age and mean daily growth rates of fish length and otolith indicated that the age of elvers upon arrival at the estuary was susceptible to larval growth rate. In other words, the time taken on migration from oceanic spawning ground to the estuary was shorter for fast-growing larvae than for slow-growing ones.
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