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Barred Sand Bass Enhanced Status Report

Table of Contents

4. Monitoring and Essential Fishery Information

4.1 Description of Relevant Essential Fishery Information

FGC §93 defines Essential Fishery Information (EFI) as “information about fish life history and habitat requirements; the status and trends of fish populations, fishing effort, and catch levels; fishery effects on age structure and on other marine living resources and users, and any other information related to the biology of a fish species or to taking in the fishery that is necessary to permit fisheries to be managed according to the requirements of this code.” There are many studies on life history EFI for Barred Sand Bass as described in Chapter 1, including age and growth, breeding aggregations, and movement. This section however summarizes the EFI that is routinely collected and used to monitor the health of the stock and ecosystem. The Department relies on a combination of fishery-dependent and fishery-independent sources to monitor the status of the Barred Sand Bass fishery.

Left: Barred Sand Bass. Center: Diver conducting a transect to estimate abundance of Barred Sand Bass on nearshore reefs. Right: Underwater baited camera system on deck before being deployed to collect data on species occurrence, activity, and abundance.

4.2 Past and Ongoing Monitoring of the Fishery

4.2.1 Fishery-dependent Data Collection

Fishery-dependent data collected by the Department provide an excellent way to monitor fishing effort, catch levels and the size structure of retained Barred Sand Bass. Fishery data are reported in the form of CPFV logbooks and also collected from all fishing modes by CRFS staff. Both CPFV logbook and CRFS data collected by the Department contribute valuable estimates of catch and effort that help staff monitor the status of Barred Sand Bass.

Beginning in 1935, CPFV operators were required to keep daily catch logs and submit them to the Department on a monthly basis. These data are collected continuously to present day, except for during World War II (1941 to 1946) when most CPFVs were not fishing (Hill and Schneider 1999). Logbook data have always included the date of fishing, port code, boat name, Department fishing block, angler effort and the number of fish kept by species, and after 1994 included discarded fish, bait type and sea surface temperature. However, Barred Sand Bass were initially recorded within the broader “rock bass” category, including Kelp Bass and Spotted Sand Bass. Barred Sand Bass were not consistently reported by species until 1975.

All modes of recreational fishing were surveyed by MRFSS for estimates of catch and effort between 1979 and 2003. The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission ran these surveys with both federal and state funding. A combination of dockside surveys, CPFV sampling and phone interviews were used to generate the estimates. In January 2004, the Department implemented its own sampling survey, CRFS, to replace the MRFSS surveys using similar methods.

To evaluate the effectiveness of the 2013 saltwater bass regulation change, the Department is conducting an ongoing study monitoring the bass discard rates aboard CPFVs. The purpose of this study is to collect the number, lengths, and incidence of barotrauma and mortality of discarded bass at various locations in southern California. This increase in monitoring of CPFV trips that are specifically targeting the basses will aid in evaluating the effectiveness of raising the minimum size limit from 12.0 to 14.0 in (30.5 to 35.6 cm).

4.2.2 Fishery-independent Data Collection

Fishery-independent data on Barred Sand Bass exist from both commercial and academic sources. Records of fish entrainment in the cooling water intakes of southern California’s coastal electric generating stations provided a useful dataset from 1979 to 2010 (Miller & Erisman 2014). However, these data became unavailable after 2012 following the shutdown of major power plants like San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. New regulations now prevent active power plants from using once-through cooling of seawater due to the damaging environmental impacts. Quarterly plankton tows conducted by California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) from 1951 to 2018 provide annual estimates of recruitment for basses (Jarvis et al. 2014a). But, these data are less useful since similarities in larval physiology prevent identification to species, and available larvae counts are for all bass species. Finally, Occidental College’s Vantuna Research Group has conducted quarterly surveys of fish assemblages (including Barred Sand Bass) along the breakwater and artificial reef at King Harbor (Redondo Beach, California) since 1974 (Stephens Jr et al. 1994; Pondella et al. 2002). These surveys provide one of the few long-term fishery-independent datasets for the abundance of Barred Sand Bass in southern California.

Version: The Barred Sand Bass Enhanced Status Report was updated in print and online in 2019.

Download: Barred Sand Bass Status Report (2019) (pdf)

Contact Us: To contact CDFW regarding Barred Sand Bass, please email fish@wildlife.ca.gov or call (831) 649-2870.

Citation: California Department of Fish and Wildlife. 2019. Barred Sand Bass, Paralabrax nebulifer, Enhanced Status Report.

Contributor(s): Jean Davis and Miranda Haggerty (2019)

Barred Sand Bass Enhanced Status Report (2019)

Table of Contents
  1. The Species
    1. Natural History
      1. Species Description
      2. Range, Distribution, and Movement
      3. Reproduction, Fecundity, and Spawning Season
      4. Natural Mortality
      5. Individual Growth
      6. Size and Age at Maturity
    2. Population Status and Dynamics
      1. Abundance Estimates
      2. Age Structure of the Population
    3. Habitat
    4. Ecosystem Role
      1. Associated Species
      2. Predator-prey Interactions
    5. Effects of Changing Oceanic Conditions
  2. The Fishery
    1. Location of the Fishery
    2. Fishing Effort
      1. Number of Vessels and Participants Over Time
      2. Type, Amount, and Selectivity of Gear
    3. Landings in the Recreational and Commercial Sectors
      1. Recreational
      2. Commercial
    4. Social and Economic Factors Related to the Fishery
  3. Management
    1. Past and Current Management
      1. Overview and Rationale for the Current Management Framework
        1. Criteria to Identify When Fisheries Are Overfished or Subject to Overfishing, and Measures to Rebuild
        2. Past and Current Stakeholder Involvement
      2. Target Species
        1. Limitations on Fishing for Target Species
          1. Catch
          2. Effort
          3. Gear
          4. Time
          5. Sex
          6. Size
          7. Area
          8. Marine Protected Areas
        2. Description of and Rationale for Any Restricted Access Approach
      3. Bycatch
        1. Amount and Type of Bycatch (Including Discards)
        2. Assessment of Sustainability and Measures to Reduce Unacceptable Levels of Bycatch
      4. Habitat
        1. Description of Threats
        2. Measures to Minimize Any Adverse Effects on Habitat Caused by Fishing
    2. Requirements for Person or Vessel Permits and Reasonable Fees
  4. Monitoring and Essential Fishery Information
    1. Description of Relevant Essential Fishery Information
    2. Past and Ongoing Monitoring of the Fishery
      1. Fishery-dependent Data Collection
        Monitoring of Bycatch Rates
      2. Fishery-independent Data Collection
  5. Future Management Needs and Directions
    1. Identification of Information Gaps
    2. Research and Monitoring
      1. Potential Strategies to Fill Information Gaps
      2. Opportunities for Collaborative Fisheries Research
    3. Opportunities for Future Management Changes
    4. Climate Readiness
List of Acronyms

CalCOFI: California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations
CCR: California Code of Regulations
CDFW: California Department of Fish and Wildlife
CPFV: Commercial Passenger Fishing Vessel
CPUE: Catch Per Unit Effort
CRFS: California Recreational Fisheries Survey
DPUE: Discards Per Unit Effort
ENSO: El Niño Southern Oscillation
EFI: Essential Fishery Information
FGC: Fish and Game Code
FMP: Fishery Management Plan
IGFA: International Fish and Game Association
MLMA: Marine Life Management Act
MLS: Marine Logs System
MPA: Marine Protected Area
MRFSS: Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey
MSE: Management Strategy Evaluation
NGO: Non-Government Organization
NPGO: North Pacific Gyre Oscillation
PDO: Pacific Decadal Oscillation
RecFIN: Recreational Fisheries Information Network
SST: Sea Surface Temperature
TL: Total Length

List of Figures

Figure 1-1. Adult Barred Sand Bass in kelp forest habitat.

Figure 1-2. Range map for Barred Sand Bass.

Figure 1-3. Map of Barred Sand Bass tagging locations from historical studies by the Department (1960s and 1990s).  

Figure 1-4. Annual trends in juvenile (<25 cm TL prior to 1991 and <15 cm TL thereafter) and adult (>25 cm TL) Barred Sand Bass abundance at King Harbor, Redondo Beach, Los Angeles County from 1974 to 2016.

Figure 1-5. Age structure of harvested Barred Sand Bass from 1980 to 2017.

Figure 1-6. Annual variability in recruitment of “rock bass” (Barred Sand Bass, Kelp Bass and Spotted Sand Bass) based on quarterly plankton tows by California CalCOFI from 1951 to 2013.

Figure 2-1. Percent change in CPUE by fishing block during peak spawning season (June to August) for Barred Sand Bass between 2000 to 2004 and late 2005 to 2012.

Figure 2-2. Number of CPFV trips in southern California targeting Barred Sand Bass (at least one caught) each year from 1980 to 2017.

Figure 2-3. Proportion of the yearly landings of Barred Sand Bass by month in southern California.

Figure 2-4. Ranking of Barred Sand Bass at landings in southern California from 2004 to 2017.

Figure 2-5. CPUE (black line) and landings (harvested catch) (grey bars) for (A) rock bass (Barred Sand Bass, Kelp Bass and Spotted Sand Bass) retained on CPFV trips from 1947-1980, and (B) Barred Sand Bass retained by CPFVs from 1980 to 2017, and (C) private/rental boats from 2004 to 2017.

Figure 2-6. Annual commercial landings (lb) of sea basses (combined landings of Kelp Bass, Barred Sand Bass, and Spotted Sand Bass) from 1916 to 1953.

Figure 3-1. (A) Annual trends in the proportion of sublegal and legal Barred Sand Bass discarded from CPFVs and annual trends in bycatch of Barred Sand Bass presented as DPUE (black line) and the total number of discards (grey bars) for (B) CPFVs 1995 to 2017, and (C) private/rental boats 2004 to 2017.

List of Tables

Table 1-1. Barred Sand Bass associated and co-occurring species.

Table 2-1. Percent of Barred Sand Bass catch (retained fish) in the recreational fishery by fishing mode from 2004 to 2017.

Table 3-1. Historical record of southern California saltwater bass (Paralabraxspp.) minimum size and bag limit regulations.

Table 3-2. Number caught and percent of trips (frequency of occurrence) for the top ten incidental catch species on CPFV trips where at least one Barred Sand Bass was also caught in 2017.

Table 3-3. Number caught and percent of trips (frequency of occurrence) for species whose take is prohibited.

Table 5-1. Informational needs for Barred Sand Bass and their priority for management. 

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