Marine Biology

, Volume 159, Issue 4, pp 769–782 | Cite as

Combining fishing and acoustic monitoring data to evaluate the distribution and movements of spotted ratfish Hydrolagus colliei

Original Paper

Abstract

Direct and indirect methods have been used to describe patterns of movement of fishes, but few studies have compared these methods simultaneously. We used 20 years of trawl survey data and 1 year of acoustic telemetry data to evaluate the vertical and horizontal movement patterns of spotted ratfish Hydrolagus colliei in Puget Sound, WA, USA. Densities of large ratfish (≥30 cm) were higher at the deepest depths trawled (70 m) during daylight hours, whereas densities were similar across depth zones (to 10 m) at night. Acoustic tracking of ratfish showed distinct diel patterns of movement and activity level; ratfish moved into shallow, nearshore habitats at night from deeper, offshore habitats during the day and made ~3 times more moves at night than day in shallow habitats. Broader spatial patterns depended on where ratfish were tagged: one tag group remained in one general location with few excursions, whereas a second tag group moved within a 20-km band with some individuals moving >90 km. These data will help inform food web models’ abilities to quantify interspecific interactions between ratfish and other components of their community.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Charlie Eaton, owner/operator of the R/V Kittiwake, and all of the students and teaching assistants involved in UW’s Fisheries Ecology course for helping to collect the trawl data over the past 20 years. We also thank J. Scheuerell and C. Ewing for their help in designing the online acoustic detections database, HYDRA, used by researchers in Puget Sound; N. Tolimieri for statistical help with GAMM and sp(pow). This work was supported by the NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag (outside the USA) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries ServiceNational Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationSeattleUSA
  2. 2.School of Aquatic and Fishery SciencesUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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