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Groundfish Assessment Program

Life History Research

A wide variety of research relating to fish life history and ecology of eastern Bering Sea and Aleutian fishes has been conducted within the Eastern Bering Sea Group. Such research has included yellowfin sole distribution and reproduction, changes in walleye pollock distribution with temperature, Alaska skate and Aleutian skate ecology, Atka mackerel reproductive ecology, and larval fish vision and ecology.

Photo of a skate on the seafloor
Researchers are surveying the eastern Bering Sea slope to help determine if areas of the seafloor where skates lay eggs need to be protected. More >>

Archival tagging studies have shed light on the vertical migration patterns of Atka mackerel, Pacific cod, and northern rock sole. More generalized research has examined of the biodiversity of eastern Bering Sea fishes. Recent research includes the use of passive acoustics for studying spawning fishes, and an examination of the biology of marbled eelpout.





  • Seasonal Habitat Use and Reproductive Productivity of Dusky Rockfish, Sebastes variabilis, in the Gulf of Alaska Go there >>
  • Spawning Omission and the Productivity Deepwater Rockfish in the North Pacific Ocean Go there >>
  • Reproductive parasitism between distant phyla: Molecular identification of snailfish (Liparidae) egg masses in the gill cavities of king crabs Lithodidae Go there >>


  • Life History Research Publications

    • Britt, L.L., Loew, E.R., McFarland, W.N. 2001. Visual pigments in early life stages of Pacific Northwest fishes. J. Exp. Biol. 204:2581-2587.

    • Britt, L.L., McFarland, W.N. and Miller, B.S. 2002. Short wavelength vision in larval fishes: A feeding adaptation? In: T. Droscher, ed., Proceedings of the 2001 Puget Sound Research Conference. Puget Sound Water Quality Action Team. Olympia, Washington.

    • Britt, L.L., McFarland, W.N., and Miller, B.S. In Prep. Chromatic action spectrum and shortwavelength feeding in larval lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus).

    • Buckley, T.W. and Kotwicki, S. In Review. Inferring metapopulation structure and biological processes from geographic distributions of large year classes of walleye pollock in the Eastern Bering Sea.

    • Drazen, J.C., Buckley, T.W., and Hoff, G.R. 2001. The feeding habits of slope dwelling macrourid fishes in the eastern North Pacific. Deep-Sea Res. (I Oceanogr. Res. Pap.) 48:909-935.

    • Gosnell, L.C., L.L. Britt, and R.M. MacIntosh. In Prep. Realized fecundity and incubation period confirmation of Pacific sandfish (Trichodon trichodon).

    • Hoff, G.R. 2000. Biology and ecology of threaded sculpin, Gymnocanthus pistilliger, in the eastern Bering Sea. Fish. Bull. 98:711-722.

    • Hoff, G.R. 2006. Biodiversity as an index of regime shift in the eastern Bering Sea. Fish .Bull. 104:226-237.

    • Hoff, G.R. 2007. Reproductive biology of the Alaska skate Bathyraja parmifera, with regard to nursery sites, embryo development and predation. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Washington, Seattle. 161 pp.

    • Hoff, G.R. 2008. A nursery site of the Alaska skate (Bathyraja parmifera) in the eastern Bering Sea. Fish. Bull. 106:233-244. Online

    • Hoff, G.R. 2009. Embryo developmental events and the egg case of the Aleutian skate Bathyraja aleutica (Gilbert) and the Alaska skate Bathyraja parmifera (Bean). Journal of Fish Biology. 74, 483-501.

    • Hoff, G.R. 2009. Skate Bathyraja spp. egg predation in the eastern Bering Sea. Journal of Fish Biology. 74, 250-269.

    • Hoff, G.R. and Stevens, B. 2005. Faunal assemblage structure on the Patton Seamount (Gulf of Alaska, U.S.A.) Alaska Fish. Res. Bull. 11:27-36.

    • Hoff, G.R., Buckley, T.W., Drazen, J.C., and Duncan, K.M. 2000. Biology and ecology of Nezumia liolepis and N. stegidolepis from the west coast of North America. J. Fish Biol. 57:662-680.

    • Kotwicki, S., Buckley, T.W., Honkalehto, T., and Walters, G. 2005. Variation in the distribution of walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) with temperature and implications for seasonal migration. Fish. Bull.103:574-587. Online

    • Lauth, R.R. 1987. Spawning ecology and nesting behavior of the cabezon, Scorpaenichthys marmoratus (Ayres), in Puget Sound, Washington. Online

    • Lauth, R.R., Blood, D.M. 2007. Description of embryonic development of Atka mackerel (Pleurogrammus monopterygius). Fish. Bull. 105(4):560-570. Online

    • Lauth, R.R., Guthride, J., Nichol, D.G., McEntire, S.W. and Hillgruber, N. 2007. Timing and duration of mating and brooding periods of Atka mackerel (Pleurogrammus monopterygius) in the North Pacific Ocean. Fish. Bull. 105(4):560-570. Online

    • Lauth, R.R., McEntire, S. and Zenger, H. 2007. Geographic distribution, depth range, and description of Atka mackerel Pleurogrammus monopterygius nesting habitat in Alaska. Alaska Fish. Res. Bull. 12(2):165-186. Online

    • Nichol, D.G. 1995. Spawning and maturation of female yellowfin sole in the eastern Bering Sea. In Proceedings of the international flatfish symposium, October 1994, Anchorage, Alaska, p. 35-50. Univ. Alaska, Alaska Sea Grant Rep. 95-04.

    • Nichol, D.G. 1997. Effects of geography and bathymetry on growth and maturity of yellowfin sole, Pleuronectes asper, in the eastern Bering Sea. Fish. Bull. 95:494-503. Online

    • Nichol, D.G. 1998. Annual and between-sex variability of yellowfin sole, Pleuronectes asper, spring-summer distributions in the eastern Bering Sea. Fish. Bull. 96:547-561. Online

    • Nichol, D.G. and Somerton, D.A. 2009. Evidence of the selection of tidal streams by northern rock sole (Lepidopsetta polyxystra) for transport in the eastern Bering Sea. Fish. Bull. 107:221-234. Online

    • Nichol, D.G., and Acuna, E.I. 2001. Annual and batch fecundities of yellowfin sole, Limanda aspera, in the eastern Bering Sea. Fish. Bull. 99:108-122. Online

    • Nichol, D.G., and Chilton, E.A. 2006. Recuperation and behavior of Pacific cod after barotrauma suffered during tagging processes. ICES J. Mar. Sci. 63:83-94.

    • Nichol, D.G., and Somerton, D.A. 2002. Diurnal vertical migration of Atka mackerel, Pleurogrammus monopterygius, as shown by archival tags. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 239:193-207.

    • Walters, G.E. and Wilderbuer, T.K. 2000. Decreasing length at age in a rapidly expanding population of northern rock sole in the eastern Bering Sea and its effect on management advice. J. Sea Res. 44:17-26.

    • Wilderbuer, T.K., Walters, G.E., Bakkala, R.G. 1992. Yellowfin sole, Pleuronectes asper, of the eastern Bering Sea: Biological characteristics, history of exploitation, and management. Mar. Fish. Rev. 54:1-18.

    • Yokoyama, S., Tada, T., Zhang, H. & Britt, L 2008. Elucidation of phenotypic adaptations: molecular analyses of dim-light vision proteins in vertebrates. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 105(36) 13480-13485.

    • Zhang, C.I., Wilderbuer, T.K. and Walters, G.E. 1998. Biological characteristics and fishery assessment of Alaska plaice, Pleuronectes quadrituberculatus, in the eastern Bering Sea. Mar. Fish. Rev. 60:16-27.

    • Zimmermann, M. and Goddard, P. 1996. Biology and distribution of arrowtooth, Atheresthes stomias, and Kamchatka, A. evermanni flounders in Alaskan waters. Fish. Bull. 94:358-370.


    See the publications and poster databases for additional listings.


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