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Are You Older Than a Fish?

Filed Under:
Publication Number: P3547
View as PDF: P3547.pdf

Maximum Ages of Gulf of Mexico Bony Fishes

MS Silverside: 2 years

Bay Anchovy: 3 years

Dolphinfish: 5 years

Gulf Menhaden: 6 years

Sand Seatrout: 6 years

Atlantic Tripletail: 7 years

FL Pompano: 7 years

Red Lionfish: 8 years

Sharksucker: 8 years

Southern Flounder: 8 years

Wahoo: 10 years

Spanish Mackerel: 11 years

Spotted Seatrout: 12 years

Sailfish: 13 years

Cobia: 14 years

Gray Triggerfish: 15 years

Greater Amberjack: 15 years

Striped Mullet: 16 years

G. Barracuda: 18 years

Yellowfin Tuna: 18 years

Crevalle Jack: 19 years

Swordfish: 19 years

Common Snook: 21 years

Gafftopsail Catfish: 24 years

King Mackerel: 26 years

Vermilion Snapper: 26 years

Gray Snapper: 28 years

Gag: 31 years

Scamp: 31 years

Bluefin Tuna: 32 years

Black Grouper: 33 years

Goliath Grouper: 37 years

Sheepshead: 40 years

Tilefish: 40 years

Blue Marlin: 43 years

Tarpon: 55 years

Red Drum: 56 years

Red Snapper: 57 years

Black Drum: 59 years

Warsaw Grouper: 61 years

Wreckfish: 80 years

Barrelfish: 85 years

Black Cardinalfish: 104 years

Human: 122 years

Warty Oreo: 130 years

So how do you age them?


Otoliths have natural rings that can be counted to determine the number of years a fish has been alive.

Scale and Spine

Natural growth rings can also be counted on fish scales and spines, as reliable aging techniques vary by species.

Publication 3547 (10-20)


By Catherine Cowan, Amanda Jefferson, Matthew Jargowsky, and Marcus Drymon, PhD, Coastal Marine Extension Program.

Copyright 2020 by Mississippi State University. All rights reserved. This publication may be copied and distributed without alteration for nonprofit educational purposes provided that credit is given to the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Mississippi State University is an equal opportunity institution.

Extension Service of Mississippi State University, cooperating with U.S. Department of Agriculture. Published in furtherance of Acts of Congress, May 8 and June 30, 1914. GARY B. JACKSON, Director


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