Yellowtail are a highly sought after trophy fish, whose basic life history characteristics are poorly understood. To enable sustainable, long-term management of the popular sport fishery, this project seeks to gather quantitative movement pattern data on this economically important species', with an emphasis on its movements around several of the region's new marine protected areas. The tagging and tracking data that will be gathered in this project collaboratively with anglers will focus on two main questions: 1) whether there is a resident year-round “home guard” yellowtail population in San Diego, and 2) whether these fish are successfully spawning locally. The data will help researchers interpret spatial patterns of catch inferred from historical angler catch records and provide a robust dataset for future management decisions. In addition, the project's findings will set a precedent for the study of movements and interactions of highly mobile species within California’s new marine reserves.
Cooperative Tagging and Tracking of Yellowtail to Assess Recruitment and Residency in the Southern California Bight