Jackson Estuarine Laboratory


Distribution of winter flounder, Pseudopleuronectes americanus, in the Hampton-Seabrook Estuary, New Hampshire: observations from a field study


From July to October 2004, five sites in the Hampton–Seabrook Estuary in New Hampshire were sampled with beam and otter trawls. The goals were to describe winter flounder (1) abundance in the estuary, (2) size class distributions, (3) spatial distribution by different size classes, and (4) distribution patterns. Of the 19 species caught, winter flounder was the most abundant and was dominated by young-of-the-year (YOY) fish. The five sites were fairly homogenous in depth, bottom type, salinity, and temperature. However, YOY abundance ranged from 2.1 to 32.1 fish 1,000 m−2 depending on the site. Benthic community was the best indicator of juvenile winter flounder abundance. Catch data of other organisms fluctuated, but no one species was a strong predictor of winter flounder abundance and distribution. During late summer and early fall, the estuary is used primarily by YOY winter flounder, indicating that this estuary functions as a nursery ground.

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Estuaries and Coasts



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