Advancing Knowledge on Night Smelt/Spirinchus Starksi Populations in Humboldt & Del Norte Counties

Publication Date

Spring 2022


College of Natural Resources & Sciences


Department of Fisheries Biology

Document Type



The Northern California coastline is a valuable ecosystem for many fish species, like night smelt. Despite the economic, ecological and cultural importance of this species, there is little to no information on their biology, or the effects of abiotic factors. To fill in some of these knowledge gaps we sampled 6 beaches in Humboldt and Del Norte counties from March through September of 2021. Besides abundance, we recorded water temperature, salinity, wave height and sediment grain size. We collected 529 individual fish at the 6 beaches, with an average of 13 fish per angler per hour (range: 0-126). We found no significant differences among beaches or months, or correlations with the environmental variables measured potentially because their densities are influenced by other variables or our sample sizes were too small.

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