• Condition and food availability to Pacific sand lance (Ammodytes hexapterus) in Prince William Sound, Alaska

      Mabry, Julia (2000-05)
      Pacific sand lance (Ammodytes hexapterus) is a common forage fish for seabirds in Prince William Sound, Alaska (PWS). The objectives of this study were to determine if condition of young-of-the-year (YOY) sand lance varies within PWS, and if variation in condition is related to temperature and food availability. Fish were collected in 1996, 1997, and 1998 and assayed for energy content. Zooplankton samples were collected concurrently. SeaWiFS ocean color satellite images and AVHRR temperature images were analyzed for chlorophyll biomass and temperature history. Standard lengths of YOY sand lance ranged from 47 to 97 mm, and their energy content ranged from 4490 to 5670 cal/g, with significant differences among stations. Sand lance in southern PWS were in better condition than those in other areas. Surface chlorophyll concentration and zooplankton abundance were not related to energy content; however, there was a positive and significant relationship between energy content and SST.