Calvin J. Won
Nearshore Marine Fish Research Program
Department of Biology
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8303
B.S., Marine Biology (Spring 2010) California State University, Long Beach
Spawning aggregation dynamics of the Barred Sand Bass, Paralabrax nebulifer
The recreational sport fishing industry of Southern California is reliant on the presence of several key fish species, one of which is the Barred Sand Bass, Paralabrax nebulifer. Since the 1970s, the Barred Sand Bass has become a highly targeted species, as they occur in large numbers and are relatively easy to catch. Commercial passenger fishing vessels are under increased pressure to locate ideal fishing sites to cater to their customers. Often times, highly productive fishing sites occur where fish aggregate to spawn. Previous works have shown that, even with moderate fishing pressure, targeting fish within their spawning aggregations can have a tremendous impact on their populations. Fisheries survey estimates have shown a severe decline in annual Barred Sand Bass landings within our recent decade, which has been suggested to be largely due to recreational fishing pressure on their spawning aggregations. This decline has even prompted the implementation of stricter catch regulations to prevent the potential collapse of this economically important species, which went into effect in March 2013.
In order to provide better management protocol on aggregation-based fisheries, it is important to understand the spatial and temporal patterns of the spawning aggregations. I intend to analyze the seasonal aggregations of Barred Sand Bass using split-beam SONAR technology, with the goal of identifying causal relationships between aggregation dynamics and abiotic factors (thermocline depth, lunar phases, tide cycles, etc.). In addition, documentation of fishing activity in the aggregation area will be made. In the broader perspective of resource management, this information may prove beneficial in performing population assessments with greater accuracy, as well as providing insight in regards to spatially influenced fishery regulations.