nena masthead
NENA Home Staff & Editors For Readers For Authors

Movements of Juvenile Winter Flounder in a Southern Maine Estuary

Lars J. Hammer1,*, Nathan B. Furey2, Woon Yuen Koh3, and James A. Sulikowski4

1Department of Marine Sciences, University of New England, 11 Hills Beach Road, Biddeford, ME 04005. 2Department of Biological Sciences, University of New Hampshire, 46 College Road, Durham, NH 03824. 3Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of New England, 11 Hills Beach Road, Biddeford, ME 04005. 4School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, Arizona State University, Glendale, AZ 85306. *Corresponding author.

Northeastern Naturalist, Volume 27, Issue 3 (2020): 502–519

Overfishing and habitat loss have reduced Pseudopleuronectes americanus (Winter Flounder) populations within the Gulf of Maine (GOM), and despite strict management regulations, abundance is still low. As the GOM continues to warm, there is need to characterize Winter Flounder movements in estuaries to better understand essential habitat use. To characterize movements and habitat use of Winter Flounder, we tagged 17 juvenile flounder (115–170 mm) with acoustic transmitters (Vemco V7-2x) and monitored them using passive tracking over a 4-month period between July and November 2017 in the Saco River Estuary (SRE) in southern Maine. Movement within the SRE was highly variable, with cumulative movements of individual tracked flounder varying between 0 m (e.g., detected only at the release site) and 17,016 m. Tagged flounder were most often present in moderate (15–20 °C) temperatures and salinities (18–26 ppt), and were rarely observed in the highest temperatures (>20 °C) and salinities (>26 ppt). Movements upstream and downstream by flounder appeared to be tidally driven, with most downstream movements occurring during ebb tides and upstream movements during incoming tides. In addition, large flounder moved further away from freshwater, while small flounder either stayed within the river mouth’s jetties or moved upstream. The speeds of flounder movements among receiver locations (mean = 4.49 body lengths per second, SE = 0.85) were much faster than expected for flatfish, potentially facilitated by use of tides. The GOM populations of Winter Flounder may benefit from management of juvenile habitat as environmental conditions change.

pdf iconDownload Full-text pdf (Accessible only to subscribers. To subscribe click here.)



Access Journal Content

Open access browsing of table of contents and abstract pages. Full text pdfs available for download for subscribers.

Issue-in-Progress: Vol.30 (1) ... early view

Current Issue: Vol. 29 (4)
NENA 29(4)

All Regular Issues


Special Issues






JSTOR logoClarivate logoWeb of science logoBioOne logo EbscoHOST logoProQuest logo