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- Long-term trends in catch composition from elasmobranch derbies in Elkhorn Slough, California,
- Long-term trends in the elasmobranch assemblage of Elkhorn Slough, Monterey Bay, California, were analyzed by documenting species composition and catch per unit effort (CPUE) from 55 sport fishing derbies that occurred during May, June, and July, from 1951 until 1995. The most abundant species (bat ray, Myliobatis californica; shovelnose guitarfish, Rhinobatos productus; and leopard shark, Triakis setnifasciata) were also analyzed for size-weight relationships, trends in size class distribution, stage of maturity, and sex ratios. Changes in species composition over the course of the derbies included the near complete disappearance of shovelnose guitarfish by the 1970's and a slight increase in the abundance of minor species (mainly smoothhounds, Mustelus spp., and thornback, Platyrhinoidis triseriata) starting in the mid 1960's. The relative abundance of bat rays in the catch steadily increased over the years while the relative abundance of leopard sharks declined during the last two decades. However the average number of bat rays and leopard sharks caught per derby declined during the last two decades. Fishing effort appeared to increase over the course of the derbies. There were no dramatic shifts in the size class distribution data for bat rays, leopard sharks, or shovelnose guitarfish. The catch of bat rays and leopard sharks was consistently dominated by immature individuals, while the catch of shovelnose guitarfish was heavily dominated by adults. There was evidence of sexual segregation in either immature or mature fish in all the species. Female bat rays and shovelnose guitarfish were larger than their male counterparts and outnumbered males nearly 2:1. Female and male leopard sharks were more nearly equal in size and sex ratio. Changes in species composition are likely due to fishing pressure, shifts in the prevailing oceanographic conditions, and habitat alteration in Elkhorn Slough. The sex ratios, stage of maturity, and size class distributions provide further evidence for the theory that Elkhorn Slough functions as a nursery habitat for bat rays and leopard sharks., Cited By (since 1996):3, Fish and Fisheries, ,
- Carlisle, King, Cailliet, Brennan
- Comparative age‑determination techniques for white sturgeon in California
- We compared growth patterns of clavicles, cleithra, opercles, medial nuchals, dorsal scutes, and pectoral fin ray sections from white sturgeon Acipenser transmontanus in California. The legibility and interpretability of growth patterns, ease of collection and processing, and relative precision of age estimates were evaluated for each structure with data collected on skeletal structures and morphometric measurements of 147 individuals ranging in size from 31 to 224 cm total length. Various methods were used to elucidate growth zones (thin-sectioning, oil and water clearing, staining, and X-ray radiography) to determine the most useful ageing technique for each structure. All calcified structures contained concentric growth zones that increased in number with the size of the fish and were interpreted as annual events. There was a direct linear relationship between size of the structures and size of the fish. Pectoral fin sections were the most practical ageing structure in terms of ease of collection, processing, legibility, and precision of interpretation. Age estimates from other structures resulted in poor precision between readers but relatively good intrareader precision. This suggests possible corroborative use with the development of better interpretive criteria and elucidation techniques. The von Bertalanffy, growth curve calculated from age estimates based on pectoral fin sections for all samples produced a growth model for white sturgeon that compared favorably with those from previous studies.
- Brennan, Cailliet