Native California Fish Caught (2018 compared to 2021) Article - Folio 2

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This is Folio 2 of my articles. It is about the native California Fish population. Here it is! Not even close to as detailed as Folio 1, but still something cool. This is a much smaller folio, so I would recommend reading it!

A summarization.

My school has this thing called project week, which is where you choose whatever and do a project on it. Simple. In 2019, I did a project where I logged all fish counts from 3/4 day boats from Dana Wharf. I made some graphs and charts. Now, I did a project doing the same thing - logging it from 2021. I compared using variables such as water temperature. Take a look at the graphs. I made the graphs, logged the information, etc. Thought you would be interested. All information is taken from Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching.


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Fish categories:

Whitefish (Ocean Whitefish Caulolatilus princeps)
Rockfish (all species of sebastinae caught excluding Vermillion Rockfish. Also includes Lingcod.)
Vermillion (Vermillion Rockfish Sebastes miniatus)
Sculpin (California Sculpin Scorpaena
guttata)

All Basses (Includes Calico Bass, Barred Sand Bass, and White Sea Bass. Also including California Sheepshead)
Flatfishes (Includes Pacific Sanddab, Halibut, and Rock Sole)
Pelagic (Includes Skipjack Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna, Pacific Bluefin Tuna, Dorado, Yellowtail Tuna, Jack Mackerel, Barracuda)
Misc. (Finescale Triggerfish, Thresher Shark, Pinback Shark, Tomcod, Blacksmith)

This is graph A. Graph A is so kind enough to compare the percentages of fish caught in 2019 and 2021. For example, 8% of fish caught in 2019 were Whitefish. 12.4% of fish caught were Whitefish in 2021.



Let's look at the most increased fish groups. Pelagic fish increased by almost 1300%. 29 caught in 2019 and 396 in 2021. Why? Pelagic fish come here to feed, and I believed that warmer water could've brought more baitfish to feed on. That wasn't the case.




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This water temperature is from a buoy southeast of Long Beach, close to Dana Point. This is the surface water temperature on average per month. You can see that 2019 is wayyy higher than 2021. If there were higher temperatures, why less fish?

9.5.2019 Marine Heat Wave NOAA Coral Reef Watch 508.png

Turns out, in 2019, there was a marine heatwave that hit California. The water temperature was highest quite a ways away from the channel islands, where pelagic fish are caught often. Above a graph is taken from the NOAA website. You can see the intensity of the heat. You can also see that the water temperature is highest farther away from shore. I would guess that this is where the tuna and baitfish would be - outside of the range of 3/4 day boats.
The marine heatwave also sprouted toxic algae, which killed shore fish such as croakers, but it could've affected kelp beds where fish such as Calico Bass, Sand Bass, and Sheepshead live. I experienced this firsthand because at the beach, there were many dead fish and red algae.

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Vermillion Rockfish almost decreased by half! From 37% to 21%. Take a look at the graph. It shows the average Vermillion Rockfish per angler in the month. Normally, we would see a bowl shape, but it seems October, November, and December seemed to have messed everything up. I didn't do enough research to figure out why, but the California Department of Fish and Wildlife seems to agree with the results I got.
The bag limit is normally 10 rockfish of any species besides a few. You can keep 5 Vermillion Rockfish out of 10 Rockfish. The CDFW and IUCN decreased the bag limit of Vermillion Rockfish by 1.

You can also see that although there were less anglers in 2021, 2019 was a better year overall

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2019

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2021


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2021 pie chart

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2019 pie chart


Hope you enjoyed! If your interested in my whole essay, let me know. This was a really fun project.
 
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I Like Rare Fish

I Like Rare Fish

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Yep, you know about Data Analysis, excellent job. What have you done with all this information and has it made a difference?
It would be nice for a normal person like me to send it to some kind of ocean institute (NOAA, Scripps), but unfortunately adults will not listen to someone like me. It’s the sad truth, but they do have a good reason. I am only in highschool, and have never even taken a class in Marine Biology (next year is what I hope), so no one besides maybe some kind of science magazine would listen to me. However, it is outdated information in the sense that nobody wants to hear about it halfway through 2022. At the time I did this, it was early January.
 

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It would be nice for a normal person like me to send it to some kind of ocean institute (NOAA, Scripps), but unfortunately adults will not listen to someone like me. It’s the sad truth, but they do have a good reason. I am only in highschool, and have never even taken a class in Marine Biology (next year is what I hope), so no one besides maybe some kind of science magazine would listen to me. However, it is outdated information in the sense that nobody wants to hear about it halfway through 2022. At the time I did this, it was early January.
You are building study habits and learning how to properly research things. Keep at it. Your day will come.
 
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I Like Rare Fish

I Like Rare Fish

Fish Herder
2x Pet of the Month!
Joined
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Yep, you know about Data Analysis, excellent job. What have you done with all this information and has it made a difference?

You are building study habits and learning how to properly research things. Keep at it. Your day will come.
My mom is an ornithologist, and her whole job is data analysis. All she did was point me in the direction of Excel. Thank god she gave me this information!
 

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