Northwest Fisheries Science Center

The Main Deck

Acoustic and trawl adventures in the Northeast Pacific

This portal tracks the research and sea-going activities of the Fisheries Engineering and Acoustic Technologies (FEAT) Team from NOAA¿s Northwest Fisheries Science Center.  Follow us as we use acoustics, trawling, and oceanographic sampling to learn about the Northeast Pacific Ocean.

Back deck of Bell M. Shimada
Acoustic echogram of hake
trawl catch

Winter Hake Survey 2017 - What will we learn this year?

By Sandy Parker-Stetter, NWFSC
January 6, 2017

Pacific hake from 2016 Winter Survey.  Photo credit Sandy Parker-Stetter (NWFSC)

The 2017 Winter Hake Survey is gearing up and we leave Newport aboard the NOAA Ship Bell M. Shimada on 11 January.

In 2016, a warm El Niño year, we found hake all the way from southern California to Newport, OR. Interestingly, upcoming conditions for 2017 are La Niña or Neutral according to the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center. What will that mean for where we find hake in 2017?

The short answer is that we don’t know.

There are so many things to consider in predicting how 2017 will compare to 2016 – Do colder surface waters matter to hake if they’re down deep? Are conditions different down deep where hake are found, say with currents? What role does The Blob play, since it’s back (or it never left)? Does the observation of juvenile hake in the north in spring 2016 mean that we’re more likely to find hake in the north this winter? These are questions that keep Winter Hake Survey scientists up at night, but soon we’ll be out there!

Follow all the Winter Hake Survey 2017 action here on the FEAT team’s new blog, The Main Deck.

Tagged: Hake, Acoustics, Winter hake research, FEAT, FRAM, Oceanography, Ecosystem, California Current Large Marine Ecosystem, CCLME, El Niño, La Niña, Climate

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