Follow Researchers Aboard the 2019 California Current Ecosystem Survey

July 23, 2019

This annual survey aims to estimate the distributions and abundances of coastal pelagic fish species – anchovies, sardines, mackerels, and herring – and their biotic and abiotic environments in the California Current Ecosystem.

Scientists aboard NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker are now in the second leg of the 2019 California Current Ecosystem Survey Survey. This annual survey aims to estimate the distributions and abundances of coastal pelagic fish species – anchovies, sardines, mackerels, and herring – and their biotic and abiotic environments in the California Current Ecosystem.

The annual survey began June 13 and will run through September 9, spanning the western coast of North America from the northern extent of Vancouver Island, Canada, to the U.S.- Mexico border. Survey results also help researchers investigate the distributions and abundances of Pacific whiting, krill, and mesopelagic fishes. So far, the crew has dealt with nets clogged with jellyfish, mapped eggs from spawning sardine and anchovy, and braved high winds and rough seas. 

This year's survey will also include new features by sampling closer to shore and farther offshore than previous years’ surveys. Fisheries Resources Division staff are coordinating the nearshore sampling with industry vessels and unmanned surface vehicles (Saildrone USVs) in areas off Washington, Oregon, and subcentral California. This additional coverage will attempt to sample target species in areas too shallow for Lasker to safely navigate, and in offshore areas that have not been surveyed routinely in the past.

Ship on the water with a sunset in the background and cloudy skies.

NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker near Grays Harbor and Willipa Bay.

Last updated by Southwest Fisheries Science Center on July 24, 2020