Annual and Long-term Patterns in Distribution and Abundance of a Non-coevolved Assemblage of Estuarine Fishes

TitleAnnual and Long-term Patterns in Distribution and Abundance of a Non-coevolved Assemblage of Estuarine Fishes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1986
AuthorsMoyle, PB, Daniels, RA, Herbold, BL, Baltz, DM
JournalFishery Bulletin 84

The patterns of distribution and abundance of the fishes of Suisun Marsh, a portion of the Sacramento-San Joaquin estuary in central California, were studied over a 54-month period. Thtal fish abundance in the marsh exhibited strong seasonality; numbers and biomass were lowest in winter and spring and highest in late summer. Freshwater inflow was highest in the winter and lowest in late summer, when salinities and temperatures were highest. 'I\venty-one species were collected on a regular basis; the 10 most abundant were Marone saxatilis, Pogonichthys macrolepidotus, Gasterosteus aculeatus, Hystrocarpus traski, Cottus asper, Spirinchus thaleichthys, Acanthogobius flavimanus, Catostomus occidelltalis, Leptocottus armatus, and Platichthys stellatus. Another 21 species occurred in small numbers on an irregular basis. Twenty of the 42 species had been introduced to California since 1879. Of the 21 common species, 14 were residents, 4 were winter seasonals. and 3 were spring/summer seasonals. The resident species fell into two groups: a group of native species that were concentrated in small dead-end sloughs and a group of native and introduced species that were most abundant in the larger sloughs. The seasonal species were also a mixture of native and introduced species. Thtal fish abundance and species diversity declined through the study period, which seemed to be related to strong year classes of some species early in the study and the prevalence of freshwater conditions late in the study. The structure of the fish assemblage was fairly consistent over the study period but changes are expected in the near future. The structure
of the Suisun Marsh fish assemblage was similar to that found in other river-dominated estuaries, despite the mixture of native and introduced specit?s.