Influence of River Discharge on Blueback Herring Abundance

Adult and larval blueback herring (Alosa aestivalis) were sampled in the Santee River, South Carolina, during 1983 and 1984 under different discharge regimes. Discharge and water temperature were less variable in 1984, when at least 2 distinct peaks in abundance of adult herring were observed compared to 1 major peak in 1983. Adult and larval herring were more abundant in 1984 than 1983. The major contributor to larval abundance in 1984 appeared to be the later-occurring peak in adult herring abundance. Abrupt changes in discharge and water temperature in 1983 appeared to adversely impact spawning adults resulting in reduced numbers of herring larvae.

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