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Delaware State Fish

Weakfish

Delaware State Fish - Weakfish

(Cynoscion regalis )

Weakfish adopted on July 7, 1981

The weakfish, (Cynoscion regalis,) was designated as the official state fish of Delaware in 1981 in recognition of sport fishing's overall recreational and economic contributions to the state of Delaware and of the specific values of the weakfish, Cynoscion genus, as a game and food fish. This fish is also known as sea trout, gray trout, yellow mouth, yellow fin trout, squeteague, and tide runner.

Delaware State Fish: Weakfish

Delaware State Fish - Weakfish

The weakfish, (Cynoscion regalis,) is a marine fish of the drum family Sciaenidae. Called the weakfish because it has weak mouth tissues that are easily torn by hooks, the sea trout is dark olive-green above, burnished with purple, blue, gold, green, and copper tints, and many small dark spots. It is further distinguished by two large teeth projecting from its upper jaw. The weakfish belongs to the drum family - the males can produce drumming sounds using the muscles of their air bladder. This species feeds on small fish (anchovies and silversides) and crustaceans (mysid shrimp) and uses the Delaware Bay during summer as a breeding and feeding ground, hence the nickname "Queen of the Delaware Bay". The weakfish may grow to 3 feet long and over 17 pounds.

Characteristics of the Weakfish

Habitat of Weakfish

Sea trout usually travel in small schools and can be found along the East Coast from Florida to Massachusetts, occasionally straying northward to the Bay of Fundy. Sea trout are an important commercial and recreational catch of the Mid-Atlantic states. During summer, they live in shallow near-shore waters, usually over sandy bottoms, moving south to offshore waters in autumn.

Culinary Description of WeakfishDelaware State Fish - Weakfish

One of the finest methods for cooking weakfish is to stuff the cavity with crab meat, wrap the fish in aluminum foil, and bake it over hot coals on the grill for 10-15 minutes. The most frequent method of cooking, however, is probably broiling. Split the fish along the backbone. Place the fillet skin-side down under the broiler (or the skinless fillet on a greased broiling pan) and baste it with melted butter and/or lemon juice and add pepper to taste. When the meat turns opaque throughout and flakes easily with a fork, (about 10 minutes depending on thickness), garnish with paprika and fresh parsley.

Sea trout is a lean fish and, when cooked, the meat is light and sweet, the texture moist and delicate. Sea trout goes well with many seasonings and sauces - even a spicy marinade complements this highly desirable food fish.

Delaware HOUSE BILL NO. 179

CHAPTER 90
FORMERLY
HOUSE BILL NO. 179

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 3, TITLE 29, OF THE DELAWARE CODE DESIGNATING THE WEAKFISH (ALSO KNOWN AS THE SEA TROUT) AS THE OFFICIAL STATE FISH.

WHEREAS, the weakfish, also known as the sea trout, is the only fish with a World Class Tournament structured around it, and

WHEREAS, the Annual World Championship Weakfish Tournament was originated and coordinated in Milford by the Greater Milford Chamber of Commerce, and

WHEREAS, in 1980 this Tournament had approximately one thousand (1,000) participants from 11 states and 158 communities that came to Delaware for this week-long event.

NOW, THEREFORE:

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Chapter 3, Title 29, of the Delaware Code by adding a new Section designated as Section 311 to read as follows:

"Section 311. State Fish

The Weakfish (Cynoscion genus) is the official fish of the State."

Approved July 7, 1981.

Delaware Law

The law designating weakfish as the official Delaware state fish is Section 311 (State fish) of the Delaware Code, Title 29 (State Government) Chapter 3 (STATE SEAL, SONG, AND SYMBOLS) Section 311.

TITLE 29
State Government
General Provisions
CHAPTER 3. STATE SEAL, SONG AND SYMBOLS
§ 311. State fish.
The weakfish (Cynoscion genus) is the official fish of the State. (63 Del. Laws, c. 90, § 1.)

Taxonomic Hierarchy: Weakfish

Kingdom: Animalia - animals
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Osteichthyes
Order: Perciformes
Family: Sciaenidae
Genus: Cynoscion
Species: Cynoscion regalis 

State Fishes
State Fish
This is a list of official and *unofficial U.S. state fish: The only states lacking a state fish as of 2008 are Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, and Ohio.
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