Proposed Abstract Title

Groundfish Surveys in the Salish Sea

Type of Presentation

Poster

Session Title

General species and food webs

Location

2016SSEC

Description

Historically, Groundfish surveys in the Canadian Salish Sea were focused on individual, commercially important species such as Lingcod, Spiny Dogfish, Pacific Hake and inshore rockfish species. These surveys date back to as early as 1948 and employed different protocols and diverse gear types including trawl, longline, and dive. Over the last several years there has been a departure from this single-species approach towards multi-species and ecosystem-based surveys. In particular, two survey series have recently been implemented in the Canadian Salish Sea that provide a synoptic approach, covering broad areas and including multiple species of fish and invertebrates. The first, initiated in 2003, employs longline gear and a random depth-stratified design. Each year this survey alternates between the northern and southern portions of the Canadian Salish Sea. The second, initiated in 2012, employs bottom trawl gear and a random depth-stratified design that covers an area spanning from north of Cortez Island to Saturna Island in the south. Each of these surveys targets different bottom types; the longline survey is directed on hard, high-relief bottom that is characteristically occupied by rockfish, while the bottom trawl survey targets softer and smoother bottom that is generally occupied by flatfish.

In addition to collecting species composition and biological data, both surveys also collect environmental data such as temperature and salinity, using a variety of gear-mounted probes and CTDs. Taken together, the two surveys will provide a valuable time-series of the Salish Sea ecosystem into the future, giving us insight into fish population changes over time and how these changes relate to environmental factors.

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Groundfish Surveys in the Salish Sea

2016SSEC

Historically, Groundfish surveys in the Canadian Salish Sea were focused on individual, commercially important species such as Lingcod, Spiny Dogfish, Pacific Hake and inshore rockfish species. These surveys date back to as early as 1948 and employed different protocols and diverse gear types including trawl, longline, and dive. Over the last several years there has been a departure from this single-species approach towards multi-species and ecosystem-based surveys. In particular, two survey series have recently been implemented in the Canadian Salish Sea that provide a synoptic approach, covering broad areas and including multiple species of fish and invertebrates. The first, initiated in 2003, employs longline gear and a random depth-stratified design. Each year this survey alternates between the northern and southern portions of the Canadian Salish Sea. The second, initiated in 2012, employs bottom trawl gear and a random depth-stratified design that covers an area spanning from north of Cortez Island to Saturna Island in the south. Each of these surveys targets different bottom types; the longline survey is directed on hard, high-relief bottom that is characteristically occupied by rockfish, while the bottom trawl survey targets softer and smoother bottom that is generally occupied by flatfish.

In addition to collecting species composition and biological data, both surveys also collect environmental data such as temperature and salinity, using a variety of gear-mounted probes and CTDs. Taken together, the two surveys will provide a valuable time-series of the Salish Sea ecosystem into the future, giving us insight into fish population changes over time and how these changes relate to environmental factors.