• Habitat usage by flatfish (Pleuronectidae) in the Mendenhall wetlands, Juneau, Alaska

      Mattes, Lynn A. (2004-05)
      The Mendenhall Wetlands in Juneau, Alaska were sampled with a variety of gear types to determine if the wetlands were essential fish habitat for flatfish. At locations where fish were captured, water quality characteristics were recorded and stomach contents of starry flounder and yellowfin sole were examined. Starry flounder, yellowfin sole, rock sole and flathead sole were captured over the course of the sampling season, both adults and juveniles. Starry flounder were captured in all sampling locations. Starry flounder have the ability to survive in higher temperatures, lower salinities and lower oxygen content than the other species. Yellowfin sole, rock sole and flathead sole were only captured on the mudflat, not in any of the less saline or warmer locations. The flatfish had more food items in their stomachs at high tide than at low tide, with the majority of food items being benthic, such as clam siphons, whole clams, mussels and copepods. The Mendenhall Wetlands appear to provide essential habitat for starry flounder, providing both food and shelter to several life stages and marginal habitat for the other three species of flatfish observed.