National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2000

Anomalous transport of walleye pollock larvae linked to ocean and atmospheric patterns in May 1996

Bailey, K.M., N.A. Bond, and P.J. Stabeno

Fish. Oceanogr., 8(4), 264–273, doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2419.1999.00113.x (1999)

Larvae from a large aggregation of walleye pollock spawning in early spring in Shelikof Strait, Gulf of Alaska, are normally transported to the south-west in the vigorous Alaska Coastal Current. In the spring of 1996, anomalous winds resulted in unusually weak transport in the Shelikof Strait sea valley. The main aggregation of larval pollock in the Shelikof region was surveyed four times in 1996 over a period of about 40 days, including finer-scale sampling of the leading south-western edge of the larval distribution. The south-western edge of the larval distribution showed weak transport up the sea valley for a period of about 10 days, corresponding to the observations of currents, after which many larvae were transported over the shelf region to the west. These observations are unique in over 15 years of monitoring larval transport patterns and demonstrate how anomalous weather, and hence current patterns, influence variability in larval transport.

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