TitleEstuarine habitat and behavior of winter flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus)
NamePravatiner, Joan H. (author), Able, Kenneth (chair), Grothues, Thomas (internal member), Grassle, Judith (internal member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Winter flounder--Habitat--New Jersey--Barnegat Bay,
DescriptionThis study investigated habitat and movement dynamics in winter flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus) during estuarine residence in February-August 2009 in Barnegat Bay, a southern New Jersey estuary. Adult winter flounder (261-442 mm SL), including both males (N=16) and females (N=18), were acoustically tagged and relocated. This allowed characterization of habitat type and movement. Winter flounder burial behavior may have presented difficulties in relocation as tags proved incapable of transmission through sediment. Tag detection range also proved dependent on several environmental variables. Relocations occurred between early February and late July (N=115), with highest rates in February and March. 68.7% of total redetections were of male flounder. Few flounder were relocated after May. Relocations of winter flounder throughout the study period occurred mostly at a midrange temperature interface between warm water from a nuclear power plant and cool ocean water. Sex explained part of habitat variation, with a correlation of 0.37 between sex and known environmental factors. Sex-based difference in water temperature was observed with females at a higher temperature during March, in the likely spawning period. There appeared to be differences in depth, substrate, and egress and spawning temperature in comparison to data from northern populations. Average movement rate was low, frequently less than 200 m d-1, and with a peak in late February and early March. In a Bayesian model using the study’s movement rate data, males consistently showed higher movement rates than females, particularly in February and March. Estuarine egress of some fish (N=11) occurred in April and early May, with males detected several weeks earlier than females.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Joan H. Pravatiner
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.