Pacific Herring, Clupea pallasi, spawning population assessment for San Francisco Bay, 1992-93

Watters, Diana L. and Oda, Kenneth T. (1997) Pacific Herring, Clupea pallasi, spawning population assessment for San Francisco Bay, 1992-93. Menlo Park, CA, California Department of Fish and Game Marine Resources Divison, (Marine Resources Division Administrative Report, 97-3)

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We conducted hydroacoustic surveys, spawn surveys, and sampled schools and fishery landings from 8 November 1992 through 18 March 1993 to assess the status of San Francisco Bay's Pacific herring spawning population. Our spawning biomass estimate of 21,186 tons is the lowest since 1978 when subtidal spawns were included in estimates; it also represents a third consecutive season of decline. The principal reason for this very low estimate is a lack of two-, three-, and four-year-old herring in the spawning population from the 1991,1990, and 1989 year-classes. Although four-year-olds were the most abundant cohort, their actual number was very low. Five-year-olds from the highly successful 1988 year-class were the second most abundant cohort. Warm-water conditions and poor upwelling associated with the 1991-92 El Nino are likely causes of the low spawning biomass, although adverse impacts on the condition and growth of spawners were not apparent. Warm water may have displaced herring to the north of San Francisco Bay. We also continued to collect data for a herring young-of-the-year abundance index during April, May, and June of 1993. The index was low for the 1990 and 1991 year-classes, but high for the 1989 year-class. The 1989 and 1990 year-classes appear poor; however, the success of the 1991 year-class will not be known until next season when it fully recruits to the spawning population.The index for the 1992 year-class is relatively low as is the index for 1993. The season's 5,555-ton quota (based on the previous season's biomass estimate) exceeded our harvest goal of no more than 20% of spawning biomass for the first time since the 1970s. The number of three-year-old fish in gill net catches increased substantially this season, possibly indicating the use of smaller mesh. Because of the extremely low spawning biomass and uncertainty about future recruitment, our recommendation to the Fish and Game Commission was to close the herring roe fishery in San Francisco Bay until the season following a spawning biomass estimate of 26,000 tons. (30pp.)

Item Type: Monograph or Serial Issue
Title: Pacific Herring, Clupea pallasi, spawning population assessment for San Francisco Bay, 1992-93
Personal Creator/Author:
Watters, Diana L.
Oda, Kenneth T.
Series Name: Marine Resources Division Administrative Report
Number: 97-3
Date: 1997
Publisher: California Department of Fish and Game Marine Resources Divison
Place of Publication: Menlo Park, CA
Latitude: 37.423
Longitude: 122.165
Issuing Agency: California Department of Fish and Game
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pacific herring; Clupea pallasi; San Francisco Bay; California
Subjects: Management
Item ID: 391
Depositing User: Joan Parker
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2007 13:11
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 22:08

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