The project consisted of a nearshore fish, invertebrate, and habitat survey in northern Bristol Bay, Alaska. A 32-ft. gillnet vessel, the F/V Willow was chartered for the survey, and we also used a 20-ft. aluminum skiff with 90-hp. motor for shallow water work. The survey was staged out of Dillingham, Alaska and took place from July 26-August 8, 2009.The main gear types used during the survey were a beach seine and a bottom beam trawl. A surface pair trawl (towed by the vessel and the skiff) was deployed in one location. Using these gear types, we sampled from the shoreline to 17 m depth, as well as surface waters ~1 km from the shoreline. Catches were sorted to species, enumerated, and when possible weighed using spring scales. Length measurements were taken for most species. Voucher specimens were preserved in 10% formalin for confirmation of species identification. A small number of samples were frozen for age and energetics analysis . Photographs were taken of most species. Small, datalogging conductivity-temperature-depth recorders (CTDs) were deployed on the trawl gear, and also placed on temporary moorings in several locations to study fluctuations in temperature and salinity over tidal cycles. We also recorded habitat variables at beach seine sites according to the methodology used in the Nearshore Fish Atlas of Alaska. During July 26-August 1, 2009 sampling was conducted in Nushagak Bay. High wind and waves hampered the sampling throughout this entire week and largely determined possible sampling locations. Two days were completely lost due to weather. On August 3 we traveled from Dillingham to the west side of the Nushagak and from August 4-8 sampling was conducted along the Nushagak Peninsula and in Kulukak, Nunavachak, Ungalikthluk, and Togiak Bays. During most of this time we experienced high winds but they did not hamper the sampling to the same degree as in the Nushagak. On August 8 we traveled back to Dillingham.
Provide baseline data on the distribution of fishes and fish habitat in northern Bristol Bay.
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