Sardine Survey

2015 Sardine Cruise

Eggs are collected while ships are underway using the continuous underway fish egg sampler or CUFES.

We will update this page frequently during the survey.

All data are preliminary and may be revised after samples are verified in the laboratory. The data posted here should not be used to interpret status of the populations or the state of the environment. Further analyses and additional data are required to make such assessments.

Sardine cruise egg map

Data are overlaid on an image of satellite-derived sea-surface temperature (degrees C) for the nearest two-week or one-month period based on AVHRR 1.4-km resolution measurements. White areas indicate no data or temperatures outside the range of 11-19 deg C.

Egg maps from previous years

Cruise Plan



Conditions off central and southern California were unusually warm in winter and spring 2015. Few anchovy eggs were collected in the CUFES during the 2015 Winter CalCOFI survey in the southern California Bight (SCB); however, anchovy eggs > 10 eggs/m3 were collected from Monterey to Half Moon Bay in water temperatures from 12-15oC similar to optimal anchovy spawning temperature ranges reported by Ahlstrom and Elbert (1959)(Figure 2A). In the Spring CalCOFI/CPS survey, anchovy eggs were collected in small amounts in the SCB (Figure 2B). Mackerel eggs were found in water with surface temperatures of 14–18oC. Sardine eggs are rarely found north of San Francisco in the spring, but in 2015 sardine spawned 445–556 km further north than usual (Figure 3). Sardine spawning was centered near the California–Oregon border (41–43oN) in a band about 90–110 km from shore in surface water temperatures of 12–13oC. Egg densities off Oregon in spring 2015 were <1.5> 3, which are still low compared to spring 2000-2013.  

Sardine Survey 2a Final 


Sardine Survey 2b Final

Figure 2. 2015 Winter (A. above) and Spring (B. below) CalCOFI CUFES sampling of northern anchovy eggs/minute plotted over Sea Surface Temperature (SST). Anchovy spawning temperatures normally are between 12-15 oC highlighted in dark blue and turquoise. The grey box represents the standard CalCOFI sampling grid

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Last modified: 11/10/2015