The purpose of this study was to define growth parameters, age-at-length, and the sex ratio for Rachycentron canadum (Cobia) in Port Royal Sound and the nearshore waters of South Carolina. We sampled Cobia from recreational-fishing efforts, and used otoliths to estimate age. Female Cobia (n = 245) fork length (FL) ranged from 798 mm to 1425 mm (mean = 1059 mm) and male (n = 221) FL ranged from 670 mm to 1183 mm (mean = 936 mm). The ratio of females to males was 1.1:1.0. Cobia ranged in age from 2 to 11 years; most (60.8%) were age 3. Estimates of von Bertalanffy growth parameters for Cobia were L∞ = 1212, K = 0.53, and t0 = -0.13 for females and L∞ = 1101, K = 0.51, and t0 = -0.13 for males. Life-history characteristics of Cobia as defined by this study provide managers with critical age-at-length and growth information necessary for the effective management of the species.
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Vol. 15 • No. 4