Fisheries Ecology Division

Santa Cruz LabThe Fisheries Ecology Division is housed in the SWFSC 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.

SWFSC Santa Cruz Laboratory - Directions and Parking
(On-site parking is limited, please plan ahead when visiting.)

Research programs

Division News

Floods Reshaped Carmel River Following 2015 Dam Removal, New Research Shows

The 2015 removal of San Clemente Dam in California restored natural processes to the Carmel River. The river's response to the dam removal so far has played out largely through episodic floods that reshaped the river channel in California's Mediterranean climate, scientists report.

Scientists Call for Improved Technologies to Save Imperiled California Salmon

Genetic identification and real-time monitoring would improve management of salmon and water.

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.