Morgan Winston '14

Giant Kelp Fish

Age and growth of the Giant Kelpfish, Heterostichus rostratus

Giant kelpfish, Heterostichus rostratus, are found within kelp forests stretching along the west coast as north as British Columbia and as south as Cape San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico. While H. rostratus are one of the largest and most abundant members of the clinid family, relatively little current and updated literature exists on this species. Several researchers have published knowledge on the reproduction, behavior, and coloration of H. rostratus, yet characteristics of their life history as outlined by Stepien in 1986 necessitate further research due to the development of modern techniques in aging since then. By measuring the growth rings on the otoliths (inner ear bones) of H. rostratus, established a size-age relationship and growth pattern for this species. Additionally, I determined a size-weight relationship and the correlation between standard length and total length. Enhancing the knowledge on these life history characteristics of these fish is be important for future fish production studies in Southern California and can be directly used with the results of visual fish surveys that measure only total length. Using the relationships determined through this study, the total length recorded of individual fish can be converted to determine their age and biomass.

Oral Presentations: Biology Honors Thesis

Publications: Age and growth of the Giant Kelpfish (Winston et al. 2017)