Reproductive Biology

Major spawning areas include coastal Gulf of Maine, southern Georges Bank, and waters south of Rhode Island. In these areas spawning reaches a peak in June and July. Spawning occurs during late summer off Sable Island Bank in Canadian waters. Females are asynchronous spawners and lay their eggs in several batches through the season. Age and length at maturity have both declined in recent years. In the early 1960s, silver hake reached maturity at two to three years of age and lengths between 11.4 and 13.0 in (29 and 33 cm). By 1989, these figures had declined to 1.6-1.7 years old and 8.8-9.1 in (22.3-23.2 cm), respectively. Another study found that 20% of two-year-olds had reached maturity in 1973, while 80% of two-year-olds had reached maturity in 1990.

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