Type of Presentation

Poster

Session Title

Forage Fish Management and Conservation in the Salish Sea

Description

This study is part of an ongoing effort on behalf of the Pelagic Ecosystem and Function (PEF) Apprenticeship to collect information and monitor changes in Pacific sand lance, an important forage fish in the San Juan Channel. Our results have provided an estimate for the abundance of a population of Pacific Sand Lance at a nearshore rearing habitat (Jackson Beach, San Juan Island). Using mark-recapture methods combined with beach seining, we determined the near shore Pacific Sand Lance population at Jackson Beach ranges between 10,000 - 200,000 juvenile (age 0-1) fish, with a decline in abundance over the season corresponding with the timing of fall transition. Using standard Van Veen sampling methods, we also estimated the population of Pacific sand lance in a benthic deep-water habitat in the San Juan Channel sand wave field to support 40-70 million adult (age 1-2) fish. Our research also sampled several areas throughout the San Juan Channel predicted to provide important habitats on the basis of multi-beam backscatter values for substrate hardness. Ground-truthing these areas suggested that this type of habitat mapping may not provide sufficient resolution to predict sandy substrate. We present insights into how Pacific sand lance might be using nearshore and benthic habitats in the Salish Sea. We also provide a relative index for how many Pacific sand lance may reside in the San Juan Archipelago and provide further insight into Pacific sand lance population dynamics in the Salish Sea.

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Abundance and Distribution of Pacific Sand Lance in San Juan Channel, WA

2016SSEC

This study is part of an ongoing effort on behalf of the Pelagic Ecosystem and Function (PEF) Apprenticeship to collect information and monitor changes in Pacific sand lance, an important forage fish in the San Juan Channel. Our results have provided an estimate for the abundance of a population of Pacific Sand Lance at a nearshore rearing habitat (Jackson Beach, San Juan Island). Using mark-recapture methods combined with beach seining, we determined the near shore Pacific Sand Lance population at Jackson Beach ranges between 10,000 - 200,000 juvenile (age 0-1) fish, with a decline in abundance over the season corresponding with the timing of fall transition. Using standard Van Veen sampling methods, we also estimated the population of Pacific sand lance in a benthic deep-water habitat in the San Juan Channel sand wave field to support 40-70 million adult (age 1-2) fish. Our research also sampled several areas throughout the San Juan Channel predicted to provide important habitats on the basis of multi-beam backscatter values for substrate hardness. Ground-truthing these areas suggested that this type of habitat mapping may not provide sufficient resolution to predict sandy substrate. We present insights into how Pacific sand lance might be using nearshore and benthic habitats in the Salish Sea. We also provide a relative index for how many Pacific sand lance may reside in the San Juan Archipelago and provide further insight into Pacific sand lance population dynamics in the Salish Sea.