Reproductive Biology

Spawning occurs between January and June, with peak activity during late March and early April. An average-sized 21.7 in (55 cm) female produces approximately 850,000 eggs, and larger females are capable of producing up to three million eggs annually. Spawning concentrations occur on eastern Georges Bank, to the east of Nantucket Shoals, and along the Maine coast. Growth and maturation rates of haddock have changed significantly over the past 30 to 40 years. During the early 1960s, all females age four and older were fully mature, and approximately 75% of age three females were mature. Presently, growth is more rapid, with haddock reaching 18.9 to 19.7 in (48 to 50 cm) at age three. Nearly all age three and 35% of age two females are mature. Although early maturing fish increase spawning stock biomass, the degree to which these younger fish contribute to reproductive success of the population is uncertain.

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