Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Chapter or Section
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 4582
Type of Book: Technical
Section or Chapter Title: An overview of ichthyoplankton research in the Northern California Current region: Contributions to ecosystem assessments and management
Book Title: California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations Reports Volume 54: January 1 to December 31, 2013
Author: Toby D. Auth, Richard D. Brodeur
Editor: John N. Heine (Ed.)
Publication Year: 2013
Volume: 54
Pages: 107-126
Keywords: Ichthyoplankton, review, distribution, community, ecology, California Current,

We review the literature conducted on ichthyoplankton in the northern California Current (NCC) north of Cape Mendocino, California to northern Washington.  A total of 68 papers have been written on ichthyoplankton research in the NCC region from 1940 to 2012, with several more currently in the process of publication.  Although there were some extended California Cooperative Fisheries Investigation (CalCOFI) cruises in the 1950s up to at least northern California, the first dedicated larval fish survey in this region was made by Ken Waldron of the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries in 1967.  Extensive cruises were conducted starting in 1969 and continuing through the 1970s by William Pearcy at Oregon State University (OSU) and the ichthyoplankton were analyzed by Sally Richardson and her colleagues.  Much new information on larval taxonomy, spatial and temporal distributions, and relationships to environmental conditions was generated as part of these studies.  Nearshore studies continued in the early 1980s by OSU focusing on the recruitment and connections of mainly flatfish species to the local estuaries.  At the same time, there were a series of eight joint US-Soviet large-scale cruises covering the entire region organized by Art Kendall of NMFS, with the data analyzed primarily by Miriam Doyle.  After a hiatus in the early to mid-1990s, sampling began anew by NMFS and OSU focusing initially off the central Oregon coast, but by the mid-2000s was expanded over a broader area of the NCC over multiple years and seasons to provide information to managers on the outlook for future recruitment.  We discuss current gaps in our knowledge, and give examples of applications of ichthyoplankton data to fisheries management and to understand ecosystem processes and relationships to environmental variability.


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Theme: Ecosystem Approach to Management for the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem
Foci: Characterize linkages between climatic conditions and biotic responses.
Characterize ecological interactions (e.g. predation, competition, parasitism, disease, etc.) within and among species to support ecosystem approach to management.