- Although the flesh of the almaco jack is considered quality table fare, the species has been associated with ciguatera poisoning, a seldom fatal stomach irritation.
- The almaco jack is susceptible to tapeworm parasites in the caudal peduncle area, but the meat can be eaten safely if affected portions are cut away.
Sand seatrout (Cynoscion)
Sand seatrout are small fish with a thin, elongated body. Coloration is pale yellow on the back and silver to white on the sides and belly. The inside of the mouth is yellow, and they have two rounded teeth at the front of the upper jaw. Young sand seatrout have cloudy markings on their back that sometimes form cross bands. They have two dorsal fins, the first high, pointed and short, the second long and flat like a comb. The back margin of the tail fin is flat.
Feeding on small fish and crustaceans, sand seatrout particularly enjoy shrimp. When they are located near passes in estuaries they eat mainly fish, especially bay anchovies and gulf menhaden. When they are in areas of lower salinity, shrimp again become more prominent in their diet.
Young sand seatrout eat a higher proportion of shrimp than adult sand seatrout do.
Sand seatrout are found in the western Atlantic from Florida to the Bay of Campeche, Mexico, in the southern Gulf of Mexico.
An inshore species except during the winter when they migrate to offshore areas, the sand seatrout seems to prefer brackish waters with low levels of salinity. In the summer months, they are often found in their nursery grounds located in the grass flats of river estuaries. In these environments they are often seen mixing with speckled trout. They prefer habitat with sandy, hard sand or shell bottoms in shallow waters. Young sand seatrout are found in shallow bays, particularly in areas where salinity levels are low.
- Sand seatrout are closely related to the Atlantic coasts weakfish.
- The all-tackle world record for sand seatrout is a 2-pound, 3-ounce fish caught in Texas.