Life history, ecology, and long-term demographics of queenfish

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Journal Article

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Queenfish Seriphus politus were collected at coastal power plants from San Clemente to Ventura, California. Power functions best described relations between otolith length, width, or weight and either standard length (SL) or total body weight. The length–weight relationship was described by the following equation: weight 1⁄4 10􏰀5 3 SL3.09. Individuals were aged to 12 years by using sagittal otolith sections. Females grew at a significantly faster rate than males. Both sexes reached 50% maturity by 100 mm SL, or shortly after age 1. The total annual instantaneous mortality coefficient was estimated at 0.42. Catalina Harbor (on the windward side of Santa Catalina Island) and Ventura were the most populous sites based on gill-net catch per unit effort from 1995 to 2006. Juvenile and adult queenfish populations have declined since 1980 in a significant relationship with nearshore plankton biomass. Larval queenfish densities recorded in King Harbor (Redondo Beach) have declined since 1987. Long-term recruitment estimates indicated peak recruitment prior to 1976, with three subsequent downward baseline shifts.