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Abundance, movements and size of gadoids (Teleostei) in the Severn Estuary


Abundance, movements and size of gadoids (Teleostei) in the Severn Estuary



Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 644: 771-790



ISSN/ISBN: 0025-3154

DOI: 10.1017/s0025315400047226

Samples collected regularly from the intake screens of power stations between July 1972 and June 1977 demonstrate that the Gadidae is the most abundant and diverse teleost family in the inner Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary. The 1st records for the Severn Estuary of 2 cold water species, northern rockling and Norway pout, which were present in appreciable numbers, may be related to the effects of the changes that commenced in southwestern English waters during the 1960s. Maximum numbers of the 5 most abundant gadoids were attained in different years, with the greatest cataches being recorded for whiting and poor cod in 1975/1976, bib and pollack in 1974/1975 and northern rockling in 1976/1977. Peak abundance in the middle estuary was reached by whiting, bib, poor cod and pollack in the autumn and by northern rockling in the winter or early spring. The 0 + age class of these species, which was always by far the most predominant category, showed increases in mean length during their relatively short stay in the estuary. Movement out of the shallows of the inner Severn Estuary by whiting and also apparently by some other gadoids occurred when salinities fell below 10.permill.. The size of poor cod and pollack in the autumn was not as great in 1974 as in 1975 and 1976, presumably reflecting the effect on growth of lower summer temperatures in the 1st of these years. Poor cod was represented by 5 age classes and attained at the end of the 1st to 5th yr of life standard lengths of appr. 80 mm (.tbd. 4.8 g), 110 mm (.tbd. 11.7 g), 140 mm (.tbd. 23.0 g), 170 mm (.tbd. 39.6 g) and 210 mm (.tbd. 71.6 g), respectively.

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Accession: 017753202

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