Spatio-temporal fluctuations in the distribution and abundance of demersal fish and epibenthic crustaceans in Yaquina Bay, Oregon
- Cite this article as:
- De Ben, W.A., Clothier, W.D., Ditsworth, G.R. et al. Estuaries (1990) 13: 469. doi:10.2307/1351791
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A total of over 32,000 demersal fish and epibenthic crustaceans belonging to 62 species were caught in 42 biweekly trawls from 10 stations in Yaquina Bay, Oregon, during 1967 and 1968. English sole,Parophrys vetulus, was the most abundant species. Seventeen species (13 fishes and 4 crustaceans) constituted 95% of the catch. Total numerical abundances of both individuals (mainly juvenile fishes) and species were greatest in the lower 12 km of the estuary during summer and early fall, a period of water mass stability and increased water temperature and salinity. This section of the estuary is used by many immature fishes and crustaceans as a “nursery area”. These fishes generally emigrate from the estuary as subadults in the fall around the onset of the rainy season. The fewest species were taken in January 1968 from the central, upper-estuarine, and riverine areas of the bay, this being a time when high rainfall and river discharge result in low salinity and temperature. Crustaceans (shrimp and subadult crabs) were generally most abundant in late winter and early spring throughout the estuary. Changes in diversity indices reflected variations in community structure, the influence of migratory species and juvenile fishes, and seasonal changes in dominance. Year-to-year fluctuations in abundance may be due, in part, to local hydrographic and meteorological conditions along the central Oregon coast.