Ecology of Juvenile Bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) overwintering off North Carolina

dc.contributor.advisorJeffrey A. Buckel, Committee Chairen_US
dc.contributor.authorMorley, James Walteren_US and Wildlife Sciencesen_US
dc.description.abstractEcology of overwintering young-of-the-year bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) off North Carolina was examined for the 2001 and 2002 year-classes. This study addressed the hypothesis that overwinter mortality affects the recruitment of summer-spawned bluefish. A trawling survey was conducted in Onslow Bay, NC from October 2001 to May 2002 and from September 2002 to June 2003. Up to four transects were sampled monthly each ranging from 0.4 to 16.1 kilometers from shore. Lipid content of white muscle and livers were determined using soxhlet extraction. Abundance of bluefish in Onslow Bay depended on winter severity, as catches during the winter were higher during the more mild winter of 2001-02. The highest catches of bluefish occurred within two miles of shore and were strongly associated with anchovy and clupeid prey. Bluefish recruitment was shown to be more complex than previously supposed; at least three young-of-the-year cohorts were observed for both year-classes. Energy reserves peaked in November with larger fish having disproportionately more energy. However, by mid-winter there was little difference in energy storage between the cohorts. These data suggest that larger fish deplete a greater portion of their energy stores as the season progresses while smaller fish defend their energy levels by feeding. Catch data show that summer-spawned bluefish survive the winter despite having lower energy reserves. However, the magnitude of overwinter mortality remains uncertain.en_US
dc.rightsI hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dissertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to NC State University or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report.en_US
dc.subjectPomatomus saltatrixen_US
dc.titleEcology of Juvenile Bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) overwintering off North Carolinaen_US


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