Declining Rockfish Lengths in the Monterey Bay, California, Recreational Fishery, 1959–94

Mason, Janet E. (1998) Declining Rockfish Lengths in the Monterey Bay, California, Recreational Fishery, 1959–94. Marine Fisheries Review, 60(3), pp. 15-28.

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Official URL: http://spo.nwr.noaa.gov/mfr6033.pdf

Abstract

California’s Monterey Bay area is an important center of recreational fishing for rockfish of various Sebastes species. The species composition of commercial passenger fishing vessel catches from 1959 to 1994 varied with changes in fishing location and depth. The shift from shallow nearshore locations to deeper offshore locations in the late 1970’s and 1980’s changed the emphasis from the blue rockfish, S. mystinus, of shallow waters to the deeper, commercially fished chilipepper, S. goodei, and bocaccio, S. paucispinis. The mean size of rockfish in the catch increased as the latter species were targeted at greater depths but then declined as stocks of older fish disappeared by the mid 1980’s. During 1960–94 the mean size of all ten leading species in the recreational catch declined. The declines ranged from 1% for canary rockfish, S. pinniger, to 27% for chilipepper. The sizes of the deeper living species declined more than those of shallower species. The low frequency of strong recruitment events and increase in fishing mortality and natural mortality appear to have contributed to the declining mean size. The scarcity of older fish, observed as a drop in mean size to below the size of maturity for 50% of females, leads to concern for future recruitment of the larger species, especially bocaccio, chilipepper, yellowtail rockfish, S. flavidus, and canary rockfish.

Item Type: Article
Title: Declining Rockfish Lengths in the Monterey Bay, California, Recreational Fishery, 1959–94
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Mason, Janet E.
Refereed: Yes
Journal or Publication Title: Marine Fisheries Review
Volume: 60
Number: 3
Page Range: pp. 15-28
Date: 1998
ISSN: 0090-1830
Issuing Agency: United States National Marine Fisheries Service
Subjects: Biology
Ecology
Fisheries
Management
Item ID: 9802
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2012 20:07
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2012 20:07
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/9802

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