Changes in growth and recruitment of the Puget Sound rockfish (Sebastes emphaeus) in northern Puget Sound

Changes in growth and recruitment of the Puget Sound rockfish (Sebastes emphaeus) in northern Puget Sound

J. Coates, D.R. Gunderson, L. LaFrance, and B.S. Miller

Changes in growth and recruitment of the Puget Sound rockfish (Sebastes emphaeus) in northern Puget SoundThis is part of Biology, Assessment, and Management of North Pacific Rockfishes
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Description

Age composition and growth rates of Puget Sound rockfish in northern Puget Sound, Washington, were compared between 1994, 2001, and 2002. A rapid population expansion began in 1990 and 1991, at a time when several important predators had been reduced through overfishing. Growth (length at age) of Puget Sound rockfish slowed significantly between 1994, 2001, and 2002 (p < 0.001). El Niño events resulted in relatively poor recruitment success for Puget Sound rockfish, and could also result in reduced growth rates for adults. Observation of the changing role of Puget Sound rockfish in the local food web appears useful in understanding broader community changes.

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