Riley Gallagher received the Richard L. Noble Best Student Paper Award at the North Carolina Chapter of the American Fisheries Society meeting hosted in New Bern. He presented his master’s research, “Linking Acoustic Telemetry and Population Genetics to investigate stock structure of Atlantic Cobia,” a project that is supervised by Professor Jeff Buckel at CMAST.
Here’s a brief intro to Riley’s work:
From the conference abstract:
“As part of a coast-wide initiative among multiple investigators, we used telemetry tagging and genetic analyses in North Carolina and Virginia and collaborative receiver networks in the Southeast US to address questions about Cobia (Rachycentron canadum) stock structure and the boundary between Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic stocks. From May 2018 to September 2019, we surgically implanted acoustic transmitters in 98 Cobia caught in North Carolina and Virginia. Within two years, receiver networks between Florida and Delaware detected 87% of these fish. Most notably, we detected 26% of Cobia south of the current Georgia/Florida stock boundary, but within the recognized stock mixing zone, and 7% of Cobia overwintered south of the purported mixing zone. We provide evidence that Atlantic Cobia exhibit philopatry, as we observed repeated returns to Chesapeake Bay during the summer spawning period. Genetic analyses confirm homogeneity within the Atlantic stock and corroborate our telemetry findings. Our results highlight the spatial complexity of Cobia movements in the Southeast US and provide information that can be incorporated into future Cobia stock assessments.”