Variation in life history parameters of Dover sole, Microstomus pacificus, off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and northern California


Brodziak, Jon, and Robert Mikus
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Variation in the life history parameters of Dover sole (Microstomus pacificus) off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and northern California was investigated by using research survey data. We compared growth, maturation, and length-weight curves of Dover sole within the International North Pacific Fisheries Commission (INPFC) statistical areas of Monterey, Eureka, Columbia, and Vancouver. We found strong evidence of dimorphism in growth and maturation rates between sexes. In addition, geographic variation in both growth and maturation rates was also suggested. Male and female Dover sole from the Columbia area had lower Brody growth coefficients and larger asymptotic lengths than Dover sole from other areas. Further, there was an apparent latitudinal cline in maturation rates because males and females matured at smaller size and younger ages at higher latitudes. In contrast, no difference between male and female length-weight relationships was detected. In comparison with other pleuronectids, we found that Dover sole matured at relatively larger sizes and younger ages. These differences likely reflect adaptation of Dover sole to the inherent variability of the California Current.