Reproductive Biology

Catadromous, which means that it lives in fresh water but returns to the ocean to reproduce. Adults migrate to salt water in the fall to mate; both sexes spawn only once and then die. Females carry broods of 250,000 to one million eggs; larvae are planktonic for one to two months and pass through five zoeal stages. Megalopae settle out in estuaries; as juveniles they live initially in burrows constructed in intertidal zones before starting their upstream migration. Known to migrate as far as 800 mi (1300 km) upstream.

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