Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 4682
Title: First records of night smelt, Spirinchus starski, in the Salish Sea, Washington
Author: M. M. Paquin, Anna N. Kagley, Kurt L. Fresh, J. W. Orr
Publication Year: 2014
Journal: Northwestern Naturalist
Volume: 95
Issue: 1
Pages: 40-43
Keywords: Night Smelt,Salish Sea

Of the 10 species of smelts (Osmeridae), including 1 introduced species, found in the eastern North Pacific, 5 species have been recorded from the inland marine waters of the Salish Sea (Hart 1973), including Puget Sound and the Straits of Juan de Fuca and Georgia:  Whitebait Smelt (Allosmerus elongatus), Surf Smelt (Hypomesus pretiosus), Capelin (Mallotus villosus), Longfin Smelt (Spirinchus thaleichthys), and Eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus).  Results from a study using molecular markers to distinguish smelts found in the gut contents of fishes (MMP and others, unpub. data) suggested that a specimen collected from Discovery Bay, Washington, an embayment at the eastern terminus of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, was misidentified as S. thaleichthys in the online Barcode Of Life Database (Ratnasingham and Hebert 2007).  Our subsequent examination of the preserved specimen has confirmed its identity as Night Smelt (Spirinchus starksi) and constitutes a new record for this species in the Salish Sea.  Since this discovery, additional specimens of S. starksi have been recognized and collected in the area, and are included in this study.

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Theme: Habitats to Support Sustainable Fisheries and Recovered Populations
Foci: Characterize habitat effects on ecosystem processes, ecological interactions and the health of organisms.