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MESA: Rockfish Habitat Utilization

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Quillback rockfish perched on artificial coral in the Little Port Walter Behavior Laboratory
Quillback rockfish perched on artificial coral in the Little Port Walter Behavior Laboratory.
 
Aquarium codend ascending stern ramp of ADF&G vessel R/V Medeia
Aquarium codend ascending stern ramp of ADF&G vessel R/V Medeia.

Research conducted at Little Port Walter (LPW) Marine Station is identifying habitat utilization patterns among juvenile rockfish. The research evaluates the relative productivity of various benthic habitats, including habitats susceptible to disturbance from fishing gear, such as corals and sponges. The purpose of the research is to identify patterns of habitat utilization and assess the strength of association between juvenile rockfish and specific benthic habitat features. These assessments will aid in establishing priorities for protecting Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for these demersal fishes.

Habitat utilization patterns have been identified for young-of-the-year and age-1 quillback rockfish and work is proceeding with several species of slope rockfish. Quillback rockfish were captured in nearshore environments primarily with beach seines. Slope rockfish were captured up to 60 nautical miles offshore near the surface with an aquarium codend, a device that attaches to a surface trawl and directs fish and invertebrates into a calm water-filled chamber.


Related Links:
Marine Ecology and Stock Assessment: Rockfish
Guide to Rockfishes of the Northeast Pacific Ocean
Rockfish Identification Games


Contact:
Pat Malecha
Auke Bay Laboratories
Alaska Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries

Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute
17109 Pt Lena Loop Rd
Juneau AK 99801
(907) 723-4457
Pat.Malecha@noaa.gov


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