Stock Enhancement Research atGCRL Logo

Seatrout Broodstock

The University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) has been involved in marine fisheries research since 1947. The GCRL Center for Fisheries Research and Development has built a base of knowledge on the basic biology and reproduction of a variety of important marine species.  GCRL aquaculturists have used this information in culture and stocking programs for recreational finfish species since 1969. This work has involved several species, including striped bass, Morone saxatilis, red snapper, Lutjanus campechanus, and more recently the spotted seatrout, Cynoscion nebulosus.

Gulf Coast Research Lab's Role in SCORE

Over the years, GCRL’s aquaculture research has been enabled by support from various agencies including the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (DMR) and the National Marine Fisheries Service as well as the assistance of volunteer anglers in tag-and-release programs. These programs have resulted in strong relationships with management agencies, recreational anglers and conservation groups. In 2004, this relationship was taken to a new level; the Seatrout Population Enhancement Cooperative (SPEC), a cooperative project between GCRL and the DMR, was founded to test the effectiveness of using hatchery-reared seatrout to help support and/or enhance the seatrout population in Mississippi. The spotted seatrout, known locally as speckled trout, is one of Mississippi’s premier sport fishes. Because of its near-shore lifecycle, it is susceptible to depletion owing to habitat destruction and demand for food and recreation. GCRL is developing the methods to acquire, maintain and spawn broodstock of spotted seatrout to facilitate production, rearing, tagging, releasing and assessing the effects and effectiveness of stocking juveniles. GCRL became a partner in SCORE in 2005.


In 2006, the Thad Cochran Center for Marine Aquaculture was founded. It serves as the centerpiece for GCRL marine aquaculture programs.

Key Links to Fisheries-Enhancement Research at GCRL

GCRL Center for Fisheries Research and Development

CFRD Seatrout Stock Enhancement Research

SPEC Website

GCRL Aquaculture Research and Development

Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center

SPEC logo