Age distribution and growth rates of Garibaldi from Santa Catalina Island
The Garibaldi (Hypsypops rubicundus) is one of the most well-known fish inhabiting the rocky reef habitats on the California coast due to its bright orange hue. However, there has been little scientific research conducted on this fish because it has been protected by law as the California state marine fish since 1995. These regulations were put into place to prevent overfishing of the popular orange fish by the commercial aquarium business. The Vantuna Research Group (VRG) has been allowed the opportunity to collect 160 individuals of this species in order to work on completing a life history study. Having individuals from the island and mainland fish populationsin southern California will allow for a wide variety of data to be collected that will aid with critical management options concerning this species. For my project, I will be determining age distribution and growth rates for Garibaldi at Santa Catalina Island, California. In order to accurately determine the age of the 55 Garibaldi previously collected from Santa Catalina Island, I will dissect them and remove their inner ear bones, known as otoliths, which have daily and annual rings similar to tree rings then I will cut and read the otoliths to determine each fish’s age in the Moore Laboratory of Zoology. I will then compile the data and determine their age distribution and growth rates. The goal of this project would be to produce an age and growth curve which will add to the greater understanding of the life history of the Garibaldi.
Presentations: 2014 Occidental College Undergraduate Research Conference