Recruitment patterns and habitat use of young-of-the-Year bluefish along the United States east coast: insights from coordinated coastwide sampling

Mark J Wuenschel, Kenneth W Able, Jeffrey A Buckel, James W Morley, Thomas Lankford, A C Branson, David O Conover, Damien Drisco, Adrian Jordaan, Keith Dunton, David H Secor, Ryan Jordan Woodland, Francis Juanes, David Stromer

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Protracted spawning and pulsed juvenile production are common in coastal spawning fishes, the phenology of which determines potential environmental effects on recruitment. This article examines bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix), a cosmopolitan coastal spawning species that produces multiple cohorts of juveniles utilizing both estuarine and coastal habitats as nurseries along the U.S. east coast. To determine recruitment on a coastwide basis, ocean (bottom, neuston, and surfzone) and estuarine habitats were sampled in Florida and North Carolina south of Cape Hatteras in the South Atlantic Bight, and Maryland, New Jersey, and New York in the Middle Atlantic Bight. This coordinated sampling effort across multiple habitats with multiple gears on a coastwide basis allowed the resolution of the occurrence, growth, and movement of cohorts along the coast. Production of the spring-spawned cohort occurred in both South Atlantic Bight and Middle Atlantic Bight habitats, while summer-spawned cohort production was limited to the Middle Atlantic Bight. Information from the present study is synthesized with prior research to develop a conceptual model of the seasonal patterns of YOY bluefish habitat use and to emphasize the value of coordinated sampling at a large spatial scale in understanding recruitment processes in this and potentially other important marine species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80 - 102
Number of pages23
JournalReviews in Fisheries Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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