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Habitat preservation is a critical part of good ocean fisheries management

School of bluefin tuna

Marine fisheries management aims to keep fish populations at sustainable levels while producing seafood. Fisheries that are assessed to be overfished must have their populations rebuilt to sustainable levels by reducing catches to lower levels. Usually the assessment of status relies on a complicated fisheries stock assessment model, sort of like a weather forecast for fisheries, that estimates the level of sustainable catch that can be taken from a fisheries population. 

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Estuary provides refuge after dam removal for bull trout

Bull trout use a bewildering array of strategies to aid in their survival, from remaining in streams their whole lives, like rainbow trout, to spending part of their lives in the ocean before returning to streams to spawn, just as salmon do. Bull trout are present in only one of two neighboring rivers in the Olympic peninsula, Washington state, and in this one (the Elwha River), two large dams were removed during the period 2011-2014. 

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How far do river fish move?

For decades, fish researchers believed in Gerking’s “restricted movement paradigm”, thinking that river-dwelling fish largely stay in the same place and rarely venture forth. But in recent decades, ecologists have harnessed the power of both advanced tags and improved genetic methods to directly estimate movement distances and average home ranges of different fish species. Now, a new paper has gathered in one place data from more than 200 direct movement studies and more than 200 genetic studies to estimate how far river fish more on average. 

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Centennial Story 34

Mike Sigler (PhD, 1993)
When I went to college, my plan was to become a veterinarian. But then I went to the Shoals Marine Laboratory off the coast of Maine between my junior and senior years and my life turned in another direction. I loved the power of the ocean and was curious about the interrelationships of the animals and plants (or should I say fish and phytoplankton). 

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Centennial Story 33

Lauren Rogers (PhD, 2010)
“Why fish?” asked my Grandma, perplexed, as I told her I was starting a PhD program at UW. Apparently studying trees was completely normal (my brother was in forestry), but fish were too… slimy. Admittedly, I’d never been a fish lover, but I thought that the field of fisheries would let me apply my interests in oceanography and ecology to problems that matter very directly for humans – and that this would keep me motivated through grad school and beyond. 

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Centennial Story 32

Carey McGilliard (MS, 2007; PhD, 2012)
It was several events and circumstances that led me to a house in Ravenna on an October night, discussing with Bridget Ferriss (PhD, 2011) how to construct a gigantic squid piñata. It all began in Costa Rica, where I did a biology and Spanish study-abroad program as an undergraduate student, traveling to biological field stations around the country and doing mini-research projects at each one. 

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Centennial Story 31

Susanne McDermott (MS, 1994; PhD, 2003)
The story about how I arrived at SAFS takes some twists and turns, but all of them were interesting and eventually led me to the University of Washington and SAFS before I started working at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC).
I grew up in landlocked southern Germany in a very small town. I spent much of my childhood at a local farmers’ stable and in the neighboring woods, and I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a biologist. 

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Centennial Story 30

Loh-Lee Low (BS, 1970; MS, 1972; PhD, 1974)
I started as a freshman at the College of Fisheries in the fall of 1968. I was very fortunate to have been awarded a Malaysian Government scholarship to study Fisheries in the United States when I graduated from High School in Malaysia. The scholarship was the blessing that molded my life. I knew I had to succeed. 

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Centennial Story 29

Stanislaw (Stan) Kotwicki (PhD, 2014)
I grew up in Poland far away from the ocean. I remember my mom often bringing home pollock fillets for dinner. During that time (early 1980s), pollock was often the only fish we could get in the store.  Later, during my studies on biological oceanography at the University of Gdansk (UG), I found out that pollock in Polish stores came mostly from the Bering Sea. 

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