(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)
Title: Distribution and behavior of surfperch (Embiotocidae) in the protected nearshore zone of Point Cabrillo, California
Student Author(s): Harrison, Maggie
Location: Final Papers Biology 175H
Date: June 1989
Keywords: nearshore fishes
Abstract: To examine what factors influence surfperch distribution and behavior, I made observations of a protected nearshore area off Point Cabrillo, California at different times of the day and tidal cycle. Within the study area, there was substantial niche diversity in the members of the family Embiotocidae among different habitats of similar depths. The black surfperch were found in the most protected area of the study and in highest densities at low tide. The striped and pile surfperch were equal in abundance in all habitats. The rainbow surfperch were seen in small schools on sandy bottoms. The reef surfperch were the most abundant species of Embiotocid: they inhabited a shallow nearshore region and concentrated in large schools at the entrances to channels during low tide. Niche diversification seems to be a relevant way of viewing dynamic fish distributions and an important factor to be considered in choosing methods for conducting population studies.