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Diel vertical distribution of postflexion larval Citharichthys spp. and Sebastes spp. off central California

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The diel and spatial distributions of postflexion larval Citharichthys spp. and Sebastes spp. at 67 stations off central California were examined during March 1994 with a 10 m2 MOCNESS during 24 h sampling operations. At each station, a CTD profiler with an attached PAR sensor was deployed to measure temperature, salinity, σt, dynamic height, and ambient light levels at depth. Catches of C. sordidus, C. stigmaeus, unidentified Sebastes spp., and S. jordani were larger at night than during the day and crepuscular periods, probably because of net avoidance during the day and crepuscular periods, and (for Citharichthys spp.) vertical migration into the upper water column at night. C. sordidus and C. stigmaeus migrated vertically through the pycnocline on a diurnal cycle, while Sebastes spp. apparently remained in the mixed layer above the pycnocline at all times. No definitive patterns were observed between horizontal contours of temperature, salinity, and σt at depth and catches of any larvae. This was attributed to the relatively homogeneous spatial pattern in the water column above the pycnocline, where the majority of the fish occurred.

Keywords: Citharichthys; MOCNESS; Sebastes; diel; distribution; postflexion; pycnocline; vertical

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Tiburon Laboratory, 3150 Paradise Drive, Tiburon, California 94920, USA

Publication date: March 1, 1999


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