Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 845
Title: Geographic patterns of fishes and jellyfish in Puget Sound surface waters
Author: Casey A. Rice, J. J. Duda, Correigh M. Greene, J. R. Karr
Publication Year: 2012
Journal: Marine and Coastal Fisheries
Volume: 4
Issue: 1
Pages: 117-128
Keywords: Puget Sound, neritic, gelatinous zooplankton, pelagic fishes

We explored patterns of small pelagic fish assemblages and biomass of gelatinous zooplankton (jellyfish) in surface waters across four oceanographic subbasins of greater Puget Sound.  Our study is the first to collect data documenting biomass of small pelagic fishes and jellyfish throughout Puget Sound; sampling was conducted opportunistically as part of a juvenile salmon survey of daytime monthly surface trawls at 52 sites during May–August 2003.  Biomass composition differed spatially and temporally, but spatial differences were more distinct.  Fish dominated in the two northern basins of Puget Sound, whereas jellyfish dominated in the two southern basins.  Absolute and relative abundance of jellyfish, hatchery Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, and chum salmon O. keta decreased with increasing latitude, whereas the absolute and relative abundance of most fish species and the average fish species richness increased with latitude.  The abiotic factors with the strongest relationship to biomass composition were latitude, water clarity, and sampling date.  Further study is needed to understand the spatial and temporal heterogeneity in the taxonomic composition we observed in Puget Sound surface waters, especially as they relate to natural and anthropogenic influences. 

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