Fisheries Ecology Division

Santa Cruz LabLocated at the western edge of Santa Cruz, California on the coastal bluff at Terrace Point, the Fisheries Ecology Division joins the adjacent UC Santa Cruz's Long Marine Laboratory and a growing complex of marine research facilities at this site.

Research is focused on Pacific coast groundfish and Pacific salmon. Groundfish under study include rockfishes, flatfishes, Pacific whiting, sablefish, and lingcod; salmon include coho, chinook, and steelhead. Results of this research are used by the Pacific Fishery Management Council to manage fisheries and by NMFS to manage threatened and endangered species. Fisheries Ecology Division scientists study causes of variability in abundance and health of fish populations, analyze ecological relations in marine communities, and study the economics of exploiting and protecting natural resources. They also assess the stocks of species targeted by various fisheries, and assist in evaluating potential impacts of human activities on threatened or endangered species.

Please use the left-side menu to learn more about the SWFSC Fisheries Ecology Division.

Division News

SWFSC Researcher's Work on Coral Reef Fish Featured on the Cover of the Journal PNAS

Behavioral studies on coral reef fish found that the fish base their decisions to feed on algae or flee from predators on the density and actions of other fish in the area.

Thousands of Endangered Coho Smolts Released into Scott Creek

SWFSC Fisheries Ecology Division researchers joined the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to release thousands of young hatchery-raised coho salmon into Scott Creek.

Reconnecting Landscapes: Removal of San Clemente Dam on the Carmel River

KQED Science reports on Fisheries Ecology Division research examining the response of the Carmel River and ESA-listed steelhead to the removal of San Clemente Dam.

Scientists Improve Predictions of How Temperature Affects the Survival of Fish Embryos

Fisheries Ecology Division and UC Santa Cruz researchers found the thermal tolerance of Chinook salmon embryos in the Sacramento River is much lower than expected from laboratory studies. Exploring the cause of this discrepancy led to new insights into how egg size and water flow affect the survival of fish eggs.

El Niño Patterns Contributed to Long-lived Marine Heatwave in North Pacific

El Niño climate patterns contributed to the “warm blob” that began dominating the Gulf of Alaska in late 2013, and later gripped the West Coast of North America in what became the Northeast Pacific’s largest marine heatwave, according to a new study published in Nature Climate Change today.

Genetic Matchmaking in California Salmon Hatcheries (New York Times)

The New York Times published an article about Fisheries Ecology Division geneticists and their work matching mating pairs to maintain genetic diversity at California salmon hatcheries.