National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2009

Evaluating the performance of Gulf of Alaska walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) recruitment forecasting models using a Monte Carlo resampling strategy

Lee, Y.-W., B.A. Megrey, and S.A. Macklin

Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 66(2), 367–381, doi: 10.1139/F08-203 (2009)

Multiple linear regressions (MLRs), generalized additive models (GAMs), and artificial neural networks (ANNs) were compared as methods to forecast recruitment of Gulf of Alaska walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma). Each model, based on a conceptual model, was applied to a 41-year time series of recruitment, spawner biomass, and environmental covariates. A subset of the available time series, an in-sample data set consisting of 35 of the 41 data points, was used to fit an environment-dependent recruitment model. Influential covariates were identified through statistical variable selection methods to build the best explanatory recruitment model. An out-of-sample set of six data points was retained for model validation. We tested each model’s ability to forecast recruitment by applying them to an out-of-sample data set. For a more robust evaluation of forecast accuracy, models were tested with Monte Carlo resampling trials. The ANNs outperformed the other techniques during the model fitting process. For forecasting, the ANNs were not statistically different from MLRs or GAMs. The results indicated that more complex models tend to be more susceptible to an overparameterization problem. The procedures described in this study show promise for building and testing recruitment forecasting models for other fish species.

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