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Growth of red abalone, Haliotis rufescens , at Johnsons Lee, Santa Rosa Island, California

, : Growth of red abalone, Haliotis rufescens , at Johnsons Lee, Santa Rosa Island, California. Journal of Shellfish Research 17(3): 747-753, Dec

Growth of red abalone, Haliotis rufescens, was examined by the use of tag and recapture at Santa Rosa Island, Santa Barbara County, CA from 1978 to 1984. During five annual visits to the study site, we collected, tagged, and replaced 2,145 red abalone. Annual growth increments of individual abalones were used to estimate and compare annual Von Bertalanffy growth parameters. Single-year growth during the 1978 to 1979 period was significantly different from grouped periods 1979 to 1981 and 1981 to 1982. Red abalone grew to recreational size (178 mm) in 5.6-11.3 y and to commercial size (I 98 mm) from 7.6 to almost 20 y. After the 1982 to 1984 El Nino, we revisited our study site to remeasure tagged abalone. Two-year growth data comparisons (necessary because of the intervening year when no data were taken) indicated that growth of red abalone was severely depressed. This observed growth reduction could have resulted from the direct effect of elevated seawater temperature on red abalone or from the decline in food resulting from El Nino-related events, i.e., storms and kelp deterioration.

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