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Biology and ecology of threaded sculpin, Gymnocanthus pistilliger, in the eastern Bering Sea
Hoff, G.R. (2000). Biology and ecology of threaded sculpin, Gymnocanthus pistilliger, in the eastern Bering Sea. Fish. Bull. 98(4): 711-722
In: Fishery Bulletin. US Government Printing Office: Washington, D.C.. ISSN 0090-0656, more
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  • Hoff, G.R.

    The threaded sculpin (Gymnocanthus pistilliger) is distributed in the North Pacific from Norton Sound south to Southeast Alaska and west to Russia and Japan. It reaches its greatest abundance in the eastern Bering Sea in Bristol Bay where it is typically found in waters less than 50 m deep. Alaska Fisheries Science Center groundfish surveys in the eastern Bering Sea have estimated densities of up to 102 fish per hectare (catch per unit of effort, CPUE) for 1997 and 1998. Population estimates for 1997 were 111.20 million and for 1998 were 51.70 million. The population estimate drop is reflected in length-frequency data that suggest a complete lack of 2-year-old fish for 1998. Gymnocanthus pistilliger is a short-lived species (age estimates from otoliths range up to 10 years for males and up to 9 years for females), and the maximum size is 161 mm and 201 mm total length for males and females, respectively. During June, when specimen collections were made, ovaries are in the resting stage and contain some residual eggs from a previous spawning. The diet of G. pistilliger changes from predominantly gammarid amphipods and polychaetes to crangonid shrimp and fish with increased total length. Comparisons with studies from the western North Pacific on G. pistilliger suggest biological differences between populations, which may reflect adaptation to different habitats.

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