Gulf of Mexico fishing boats hauled in far more menhaden last year than in 2010. Catches of some other important species were above pre-spill levels in some Gulf Coast states. But a federal official says it's too early to rule out long-term effects from the spill.
A national report released Wednesday says the Gulf's menhaden catch last year was nearly 66 percent above that in 2010. Other species also showed increases.
Roy Crabtree of NOAA Fisheries says that's guardedly good news. But he says it's probably too soon to tell whether the spill killed eggs and immature fish.
If that happened, the loss would show up when fish hatched in 2010 were due to spawn. Maturity rates vary widely. So do annual catches.