Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 161–178 | Cite as

An experimental study of the habitat preferences and movement patterns of copper, quillback, and brown rockfishes (Sebastes spp.)

  • Kathleen R. Matthews
Article

Synopsis

A study was designed to test whether habitat association affects the movement patterns and habitat preferences of copper, quillback, and brown rockfishes. Resighting of tagged rockfishes (512 tagged rockfishes and 726 resightings) from July 1986 through June 1988 indicated that home ranges, movements from reefs, and tendency to return from experimental displacement (up to 8.0 km) were significantly different on the three habitat types compared. On high relief rocky reefs, rockfishes maintained small home ranges (most within 30 m2) and displayed strong reef fidelity that was not affected by season; no off-reef movement was detected and rockfishes generally returned from displacements. On artificial reefs, rockfishes also maintained small home ranges (most within 30 m2), however, there were pronounced seasonal habitat preferences. In the summer, artificial reefs become less suitable; considerable off-reef movement occurred and rockfish did not return from displacements. In contrast, during fall and winter, rockfishes remained on artificial reefs and returned from displacements. On low relief rocky reefs, rockfishes maintained considerably larger home ranges (most within 400 m2 and some up to 1500 m2) and habitat use was strongly affected by season; rockfishes only inhabited low relief reefs in the summer and only returned from displacements in the summer coincident when peak algal cover. In addition, there was substantial movement between artificial reefs and adjacent low relief reefs; many rockfishes leave artificial reefs in the summer, move to low relief reefs, and return to artificial reefs in the fall when kelp disappears on low relief reefs. Through habitat assessment, movement in response to habitat quality, and ability to home, these rockfish maintain a flexible behavior for optimal habitat use.

Key words

Homing Fish behavior Habitat assessment Nearshore marine reefs Displacement experiments 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References cited

  1. Ambrose, R.F. & S.L. Swarbrick. 1989. Comparisons of fish assemblages on artificial and natural reefs off the coast of southern California. Bull. Mar. Sci. 44: 718–733.Google Scholar
  2. Baker, R.R. 1978. Evolutionary ecology of animal migration. Holmes and Meier Publishers, New York. 1012 pp.Google Scholar
  3. Bodkin, J.L. 1986. Fish assemblages in Macrocystis and Nereocystis kelp forests off central California. U.S. Fish. Bull. 84: 799–808.Google Scholar
  4. Bohnsack, J.A. & D.L. Sutherland. 1985. Artificial reef research: a review with recommendations for future priorities. Bull. Mar. Sci. 37: 11–39.Google Scholar
  5. Brown, J.L. & G.H. Orians. 1970. Spacing patterns in mobile animals. Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 1: 239–262.Google Scholar
  6. Buckley, R.M. & G.J. Hueckel. 1985. Biological processes and ecological development on an artificial reef in Puget Sound, Washington. Bull. Mar. Sci. 37: 50–69.Google Scholar
  7. Carlson, H.R. & R.E. Haight. 1972. Evidence for a home site and homing of adult yellowtail rockfish, Sebastes flavidus. J. Fish. Res. Board Can. 29: 1011–1014.Google Scholar
  8. Ebeling, A.W. & D.R. Laur. 1988. Fish populations in kelp forests without sea otters: effects of severe storm damage and destructive sea urchin grazing. pp. 169–191. In: G.R. Van Blaricom & J.A. Estes (ed.) The Community Ecology of Sea Otters, Ecological Studies 65, Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg.Google Scholar
  9. Gerking, S.D. 1959. The restricted movement of fish populations. Biol. Rev. 34: 221–242.Google Scholar
  10. Guillemot, P.J., R.J. Larson & W.H. Lenarz. 1985. Seasonal cycles of fat and gonad volume in five species of northern California rockfish (Scorpaenidae: Sebastes). U.S. Fish. Bull. 83: 299–312.Google Scholar
  11. Hallacher, L.E. 1977. Patterns of space and food used by inshore rockfishes (Scopaenidae: Sebastes) of Carmel Bay, California. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley 115 pp.Google Scholar
  12. Hallacher, L.E. 1984. Relocation of original territories by displaced black-and-yellow rockfish, Sebastes chrysomelas, from Carmel Bay, California. Calif. Fish Game 7: 158–162.Google Scholar
  13. Hart, J.L. 1973. Pacific fishes of Canada. Fish. Res. Board Canada Bull. 180. 740 pp.Google Scholar
  14. Hueckel, G.J. & R.M. Buckley. 1987. The influence of prey communities on fish species assemblages on artificial reefs in Puget Sound, Washington. Env. Biol. Fish. 19: 195–214.Google Scholar
  15. Larson, R.J. 1980a. Territorial behavior of the black-and-yellow rockfish and gopher rockfish (Scorpaenidae, Sebastes). Mar. Biol. 58: 111–122.Google Scholar
  16. Larson, R.J. 1980b. Competition, habitat selection, and the bathymetric segregation of two rockfish (Sebastes) species. Ecol. Monogr. 50: 221–239.Google Scholar
  17. Larson, R.J. & E.E. DeMartini. 1984. Abundance and vertical distribution of fishes in a cobble-bottom kelp forest off San Onofre, California. U.S. Fish. Bull. 82: 37–55.Google Scholar
  18. Laufle, J.C. 1982. Biological development and materials comparison on a Puget Sound artificial reef. Wash. Dept. Fish. Tech. Rept. 72. 183 pp.Google Scholar
  19. Leggett, W.C. 1977. The ecology of fish migrations. Ann. Rev. Ecol. System. 8: 285–308.Google Scholar
  20. Markevich, A.I. 1988. Nature of territories and homing in the eastern sea-perch, Sebastes taczanowski. J. Ichthyol. 28: 161–163.Google Scholar
  21. Mathews, S.B. & M.W. Barker. 1983. Movements of rockfish (Sebastes) tagged in northern Puget Sound. U.S. Fish. Bull. 82: 916–922.Google Scholar
  22. Matthews, K.R. 1985. Species similarity and movement of fishes on natural and artificial reefs in Monterey Bay, California. Bull. Mar. Sci. 37: 252–270.Google Scholar
  23. Matthews, K.R. 1988. Habitat use and movement patterns of copper, quillback, and brown rockfishes in Puget Sound, Washington. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Washington, Seattle. 121 pp.Google Scholar
  24. Matthews, K. R. 1990. A comparative study of the habitat use of young-of-the-year, subadult, and adult copper, quillback, and brown rockfishes on four habitat types in Puget Sound, Washington. U.S. Fish. Bull. (in press).Google Scholar
  25. Matthews, K.R. & R.H. Reavis. 1989. Underwater tagging and visual recapture as a technique for studying movement patterns of rockfishes In: Amer. Fish. Soc. Symposium (in press).Google Scholar
  26. Miller, M.L. & B.W. Menzel. 1986. Movements, homing, and home range of muskellunge, Esox masquinongy, in West Okoboji Lake, Iowa. Env. Biol. Fish. 16: 243–255.Google Scholar
  27. Moulton, L.L. 1977. An ecological analysis of fishes inhabiting the rocky nearshore regions of northern Puget Sound. Washington. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Washington, Seattle. 181 pp.Google Scholar
  28. Patten, B.G. 1973. Biological information on copper rockfish in Puget Sound, Washington. Trans. Amer. Fish. Soc. 102: 412–416.Google Scholar
  29. Prince, E.D. & D.W. Gotshall. 1976. Food of the copper rockfish, Sebastes caurinus Richardson, associated with an artificial reef in South Humboldt Bay, California. Calif. Fish Game 62: 274–285.Google Scholar
  30. Richards, L.J. 1987. Copper rockfish (Sebastes caurinus) and quillback rockfish (Sebastes maliger) habitat in the Strait of Georgia, British Columbia. Can. J. Zool. 65: 3188–3191.Google Scholar
  31. Southwood, T.R.E. 1962. Migration of terrestrial arthropods in relation to habitat. Biol. Rev. 37: 171–214.Google Scholar
  32. Stickel, L.F. 1954. A comparison of certain methods of measuring ranges of small mammals. J. Mamm. 35: 1–15.Google Scholar
  33. Svärdson, G. 1949. Competition and habitat selection in birds. Oikos 1: 157–174.Google Scholar
  34. Swingland, I.R. 1984. Intraspecific differences in movement. pp. 102–115. In: I.R. Swingland & P.J. Greenwood (ed.) The Ecology of Animal Movement, Clarendon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  35. United States Department of Commerce. 1987. Current Tables 1987. Pacific Coast of North America and Asia. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean Service, Seattle.Google Scholar
  36. Wiens, J.A. 1985. Habitat selection in variable environments: shrub-steppe birds. pp. 227–252. In: M.L. Cody (ed.) Habitat Selection in Birds, Academic Press, Orlando.Google Scholar
  37. Williams, G. 1957. Homing behavior of California rocky shore fishes. Univ. Calif. Publ. Zool. 59: 249–284.Google Scholar
  38. Zar, J.H. 1984. Biostatistical analysis. Prentice-Hall, Inglewood Cliffs. 718 pp.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen R. Matthews
    • 1
  1. 1.Fisheries Research Institute WH-10University of WashingtonSeattleU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations