National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2014

Modeled connectivity between northern rock sole (Lepidopsetta polyxystra) spawning and nursery areas in the eastern Bering Sea

Cooper, D.W., J.T. Duffy-Anderson, W.T. Stockhausen, and W. Cheng

J. Sea Res., 84, 2–12, doi: 10.1016/j.seares.2012.07.001 (2013)

Connectivity between spawning and potential nursery areas of northern rock sole, Lepidopsetta polyxystra, in the eastern Bering Sea was examined using an individual-based biophysical-coupled model. Presumed spawning areas were identified using historical field-collected ichthyoplankton data, and nursery habitats were characterized based on previously described settlement areas. Simulated larvae were released from spawning areas near the Pribilof Islands, south of the Pribilof Islands along the outer continental shelf, on the north side of the Alaska Peninsula, and in the Gulf of Alaska south of Unimak Island. Simulated larvae were transported along two general pathways: 1) northwards along the outer continental shelf from Unimak Island towards the Pribilof Islands and further north offshore of mainland Alaska, and 2) eastward along the Alaska Peninsula. At the end of the 2-month simulation, drift pathways placed pre-settlement stage larvae offshore of known nursery areas of older juveniles near mainland Alaska, consistent with a hypothesis that initial settlement may be followed by substantial post-settlement redistribution.

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