Fisheries Ecology Division

Santa Cruz LabThe Fisheries Ecology Division is housed in the NMFS Santa Cruz Laboratory on UCSC’s Coastal Science Campus. Research is focused on California demersal and anadromous fishes, their fisheries, and their habitats. Demersal species under study include rockfishes, flatfishes, Pacific whiting, sablefish, and lingcod; anadromous species include coho and chinook salmon, steelhead, and green sturgeon. Results of this research are used by the Pacific Fishery Management Council to manage fisheries and by NMFS to manage threatened and endangered species and their habitats. 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.

Research programs

Division News

SWFSC Geneticist Carlos Garza Elected Cal Academy Fellow

Fisheries Ecology Division research geneticist Carlos Garza was elected as a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences. This lifetime appointment to one of the governing bodies of the Academy was in recognition of his “contributions to the advancement of science”.

Researchers Study Response of the Carmel River and Steelhead Following Removal of San Clemente Dam

SWFSC Fisheries Ecology Division researcher Tommy Williams and team returned to the Carmel River to survey juvenile steelhead after the 2015 removal of the San Clemente Dam and the epic rains last winter.

SWFSC Joins Partnership to Restore Salmon and Steelhead Habitat

The Fisheries Ecology Division has joined in the new Central Valley Salmon Habitat Partnership that will work to build robust fisheries and self-sustaining wild populations of Central Valley salmonids through science-based habitat restoration.

New NOAA Fisheries Research Reveals Ecosystem Cascades Affecting Salmon

Researchers found that the common murre, a small ocean seabird, can make a difference in the number of salmon that survive to return as adults, especially when ocean conditions cause the murres to feed primarily on salmon and anchovy.

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.