American eel distribution in tidal waters of the east coast of North America, as indicated by 26 trawl and beach seine surveys between Labrador and Florida: Fs97-6/3221E-PDF

“This study examines the distribution of American eels (Anguilla rostrata) in tidal waters of the east coast of North America, based on 23 bottom trawl and three beach seine surveys conducted between northern Labrador and central Florida. A total of 15,809 eels were captured in 248,769 trawl or seine sets. Eels were primarily captured in waters with some degree of protection from the open sea (classified as Tidal Fresh, Sheltered, or Semi-exposed), and with mean wind fetch, adjusted for the frequency distribution of wind directions, less than 60 km. Eels were rarely captured in unprotected marine waters. The percent of sets catching eels was lower in recent than in earlier years in surveys conducted in the Hudson estuary, Chesapeake Bay tributaries, and Pamlico Sound, but not in Delaware Bay. Catch rate of eels varied with depth within surveys, but the pattern of these relations varied among surveys. The percent of sets that caught eels diminished with distance from land in most surveys that had sufficient eel captures to evaluate trends. Untested but potentially important biases may affect the relation between eel abundance and trawl catch rates. In the Hudson Estuary and in the York and James tributaries of Chesapeake Bay, the percent of sets that captured eels was highest just upstream of the boundary between tidal saline and tidal fresh water, but in the Delaware River catch rates peaked just below this boundary. This study, the first to examine the distribution of growth-phase anguillid eels in tidal waters at a continental scale, was made possible by assembling a large number of datasets that covered a vast geographic area. However, many datasets for eastern North American marine waters have not yet been analysed for American eel distribution. This points to further opportunities for such datasets to contribute to ecological understanding and marine conservation"--Abstract, p. v.

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Department/Agency Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
Title American eel distribution in tidal waters of the east coast of North America, as indicated by 26 trawl and beach seine surveys between Labrador and Florida
Series Title Canadian technical report of fisheries and aquatic sciences,
Publication Type Series - View Master Record
Language [English]
Format Electronic
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Date 2017.
Number of Pages v, 122 p. :
ISBN 978-0-660-08722-1
Catalogue Number
  • Fs97-6/3221E-PDF
Subject Terms Salt water fish, Animal populations