In the western North Atlantic, spawning takes place from Chesapeake Bay to Newfoundland, beginning in the south in spring and progressively extending northward into the summer. Most spawning occurs within 10-30 mi (16-48 km) of shore. Mackerel do not begin spawning until the water has warmed to approximately 46.4°F (8°C). The chief production of eggs takes place at temperatures of 48.2-57.2°F (9-14°C). Maturity is attained at 2-3 years of age. Estimates of fecundity range from 285,000 to 1.98 million eggs for females 12-17 in (307-438 mm) fork length. The eggs are 0.04-0.05 in (1.09-1.39 mm) in diameter, have one oil globule, and generally float in the surface water layer above the thermocline.
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