The narrow continental shelf and steep slope characteristics of the eastern Gulf of Alaska has intrigued biologists and oceanographers for years. The GOAIERP offers one of the first fisheries oceanography surveys to thoroughly explore this region of the Pacific Ocean thus acquiring valuable data previously not available. Due to high research interests in the inner domain of the Southeastern sampling grid and limited ship time, the outer most stations (80 miles offshore) were not sampled this year…….. up until now. With a research interest to occupy these offshore stations and explore the fish community, I directed the Northwest Explorer to head out to the deepest water.
Up until we reached the farthest station we had caught only ~20 rockfish total with our trawl net. Once we reached these farthest stations we were catching up to 300 rockfish per tow! It appears I was wrong when I stated in my earlier post that it may be a poor year for juvenile rockfish survival. This is why we are here, to observe distribution and survival of juvenile marine fish in their ever-changing marine environment.
With a bum knee, this is my last post from the Northwest Explorer. I wish her and her crew the best of weather. I’m sure you’ll be hearing from me again.