The Nearshore Fish Assemblages of the Channel Islands.


Brooke Gintert

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In contrast with the wealth of data concerning the nearshore fish assemblages of the Southern California Coast, there is relatively no data concerning the populations of nearshore fishes among the nearby Channel Islands. Studies that have compared the ichthyofauna of Catalina Island with the mainland have shown that the diversity and abundance of fishes around Catalina are clearly distinct from the mainland. As a compliment to these studies, the remaining channel islands were monitored starting in June 2000 to compare the assemblages on these islands with each other and with the mainland. Surveys of the islands are completed using visual SCUBA transects, overnight gill nets, and hook and line sampling techniques. Surveys at the Coronado Islands off the coast of San Diego indicate that the rocky reef communities appear significantly different from those at Catalina Island. Preliminary analysis of these surveys indicates that the ichthyofauna of the Coronado Islands reflects the warm temperate and subtropical fish assemblages seen off the coast of Baja California as indicated by the presence of such species as the finescale triggerfish, Balistes polylepis .


Dan Pondella



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