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Open-File Report 00-032

Physical Characteristics of Dungeness Crab and Halibut Habitats in Whidbey Passage, Alaska

By Guy R. Cochrane, Paul R. Carlson, Michael E. Boyle, Gregory L. Gabel, and Philip N. Hooge

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In Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska there are ongoing studies of Dungeness Crab (Cancer magister) and Pacific Halibut (Hippoglosus stenolepis). Scientists of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) are attempting to ascertain life history, distribution, and abundance, and to determine the effects of commercial fishing in the park (Carlson et al., 1998). Statistical sampling studies suggest that seafloor characteristics and bathymetry affect the distribution, abundance and behavior of benthic species. Examples include the distribution of Dungeness crab which varies from 78 to 2012 crabs/ha in nearshore areas to depths of 18 m (O'Clair et al., 1995), and changes in halibut foraging behavior according to bottom type (Chilton et al., 1995).

This report discusses geophysical data collected within the park in 1998. The geophysical surveying done in this and previous studies will be combined with existing population and sonic-tracking data sets as well as future sediment sampling, scuba, submersible, and bottom video camera observations to better understand Dungeness crab and Pacific halibut habitat relationships.

First posted February 8, 2001

For additional information, contact:
Contact Information, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
Pacific Science Center
400 Natural Bridges Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

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Suggested citation:

Cochrane, Guy R., Carlson, Paul R., Boyle, Michael E., Gabel, Gregory L., and Hooge, Philip N., 2000, Physical Characteristics of Dungeness Crab and Halibut Habitats in Whidbey Passage, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 00-032,


Cruise Objectives

Glacier Bay Park

Klein 2000 Sidescan Surveying System

Navigation Systems

Data Acquisition and Processing

Analysis of Side Scan Imagery


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