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Project Information

Title: Monitoring long-term changes in forage fish distribution, relative abundance, and body condition in Prince William Sound

Project Year and Number: 2018: 18120114-C

Other Fiscal Years and Numbers for this Project: 2017: 17120114-C, 2016: 12120114-O, 2015: 12120114-O, 2014: 14120114-O, 2014: 12120114-O, 2013: 13120114-O, 2013: 12120114-O, 2012: 12120114-O

Principal Investigator (PI): Mayumi Arimitsu, USGS

Assisting Personnel: None

Research Location:

Restoration Category:

Injured Resources Addressed: Common Murres , Killer Whales , Kittlitz's Murrelets , Marbled Murrelets , Pacific Herring , Passive Use

Abstract: Identifying drivers of change in forage fish populations is key to understanding recovery potential for piscivorous species injured by the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Forage fish are small pelagic schooling fish such as capelin (Mallotus villosus), Pacific sand lance (Ammodytes personatus), Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii), and juvenile walleye pollock (Gadus chalcogrammus) that are important in marine ecosystems because they are primary food resources for marine predators. Krill (Euphausiidae) are also important prey taxa sampled in this study. The goals of the Gulf Watch Alaska (GWA) forage fish monitoring project are to provide information on the population trends of forage species in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) and to better understand how underlying predator-prey interactions influence recovering species and pelagic ecology within Prince William Sound (PWS). In FY18 we will conduct acoustic-trawl surveys for forage fish during an integrated predator-prey survey in PWS during fall (Sept/Oct), and conduct seabird diet sampling at Middleton Island during spring/summer (Apr – Aug). Forage fish indices from seabirds on Middleton Island provide the critical mid-trophic level link to spring/summer lower and upper trophic levels studied during GWA Environmental Drivers cruises in the GOA. The FY18 sampling activities will continue newly initiated predator prey studies (FY17-FY21) and ensure the continuity of long-term datasets that will collectively provide an important contribution to knowledge of ecosystem function. Furthermore, our continued sampling will provide insight into how forage fish populations respond to the persistence of or recovery from the recent Pacific marine heat wave. Expansion of environmental drivers sampling (National Science Foundation Long-term Ecological Research) to the GOA shelf area adjacent to Middleton Island provides additional linkages to GWA forage fish studies and lower trophic level processes. We are not proposing any major changes to this project for FY18.


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Proposal: View PDF (413 KB)

Funding Recommendations: View

Funding Detail For: 2018

Quarterly Project Tasks For: 2018

Annual Report: 2018: View (2,091 KB)

Final Report: Final Report Not Available - For Current Status Please Contact Us

Publications from this Project: None Available

More information may be available for this project under other years:

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Project Number Proposal Annual Reports Final Report Data
2017: 17120114-C View (PDF) 2017: View (PDF)
Final Report Not Available - For Current Status Please Contact Us No datasets
2016: 12120114-O View (PDF) 2016: Due 09/01/2016
2015: View (PDF)
Final Report Not Available - For Current Status Please Contact Us No datasets
2014: 14120114-O Not Available 2014: View (PDF)
Final Report Not Available - For Current Status Please Contact Us No datasets
2014: 12120114-O View (PDF) 2014: View (PDF)
Final Report Not Available - For Current Status Please Contact Us No datasets
2013: 13120114-O Not Available 2013: Due 09/01/2013
Final Report Not Available - For Current Status Please Contact Us No datasets
2013: 12120114-O View (PDF) 2013: View (PDF)
2012: View (PDF)
Final Report Not Available - For Current Status Please Contact Us No datasets