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Resource Assessment & Conservation Engineering


West Coast Continental Slope Bottom Trawl Survey

The RACE Division completed a 4-week bottom trawl survey of the upper continental slope groundfish resources off Washington, Oregon, and California on 8 November 2001.  The survey covered the upper continental slope habitat 183-1,280 m deep in the International North Pacific Fisheries Commission (INPFC) U.S. Vancouver, Columbia, Eureka, Monterey, and northern Conception statistical areas (U.S.- Canada border, lat. 3430N).  Sampling for the survey began near the U.S.-Canada border in Ninitat Canyon and progressed southward toward Point Conception.  A of 222 tows were attempted during the survey.  Out of 208 possible stations, 207 stations were sampled successfully.  Results from annual slope groundfish trawl surveys are used by fishery scientists and managers to assess stock conditions and establish annual harvest guidelines for sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria), Dover sole (Microstomus pacificus), two species of thornyhead rockfish (Sebastolobus alascanus and S. altivelis), and several of the deeper-dwelling rockfish species.  This was the thirteenth RACE Division survey in a series dating back to 1984 monitoring the long-term trends in the distribution and abundance of West Coast upper continental slope groundfish resources.

By Bob Lauth

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