Nearshore habitat associations of young-of-year copper (Sebastes caurinus) and quillback (S. maliger) rockfish in the San Juan Channel, Washington

Nearshore habitat associations of young-of-year copper (Sebastes caurinus) and quillback (S. maliger) rockfish in the San Juan Channel, Washington

J. Hayden-Spear, and D.R. Gunderson

Nearshore habitat associations of young-of-year copper (Sebastes caurinus) and quillback (S. maliger) rockfish in the San Juan Channel, WashingtonThis is part of Biology, Assessment, and Management of North Pacific Rockfishes
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Description

We established scuba survey methods for young-of-year (YOY) copper (Sebastes caurinus) and quillback (S. maliger) rockfishes and used these to conduct density and habitat assessments in the San Juan Channel in 2004 and 2005. Results for both years indicated that YOY copper and quillback rockfishes occur primarily in areas with a high percent coverage (60-100%) of understory kelp at shallow depths (1.5-4.5 m). YOY copper and quillback rockfishes were patchily distributed in these areas, and predator densities did not seem to be a factor in determining which areas were utilized. Preserving shallow-water understory kelp habitats is a critical part of the conservation and management of copper and quillback rockfishes in the San Juan Archipelago.

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