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Fisheries Behavioral Ecology - Abstracts

Petrie, M.E. and C.H. Ryer. 2006. Laboratory and field evidence for structural habitat affinity of young-of-the-year lingcod. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 135:1622-1630.


Lingcod Ophiodon elongatus are an overexploited fisheries species in the Pacific Northwest. Although there has been extensive study of the habitat requirements of adults, particularly during spawning, relatively little is known about the habitat requirements of juveniles. Many juvenile fish use structural components of habitat to alleviate the risk of predation as well as for foraging. Laboratory experiments and a field tagging study were performed to investigate habitat preference in juvenile lingcod. Initial laboratory experiments demonstrated an affinity for structure (rock, shell, or seagrass) over bare sand habitats. An acoustic tagging study conducted in Yaquina Bay, Oregon, corroborated the basic habitat preferences seen in laboratory experiments. Juvenile lingcod showed a high degree of site fidelity, remaining in discreet areas of significant structural complexity, as evidenced by underwater video of benthic habitat. Results from both laboratory and field studies establish that juvenile lingcod preferentially use structurally complex habitats. With this information, we can start to identify what constitutes essential fish habitat for juveniles of this important fisheries species.


Last updated 31 March, 2009

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