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Data from: Oceanic distribution, behaviour, and a winter aggregation area of adult Atlantic sturgeon, Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus, in the Bay of Fundy, Canada

Citation

Taylor, Andrew Douglas; Ohashi, Kyoko; Sheng, Jinyu; Litvak, Matthew Kenneth (2017), Data from: Oceanic distribution, behaviour, and a winter aggregation area of adult Atlantic sturgeon, Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus, in the Bay of Fundy, Canada, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.h01gj

Abstract

Seasonal distribution of adult Atlantic sturgeon was examined using pop-up satellite archival tags (PSATs) and ultrasonic transmitters deployed in the Saint John River, New Brunswick, Canada. Seven MK10 PSATs programmed for release in June 2012 and seven MiniPAT PSATs programmed for release in February and April 2013 were deployed in August 2011 and 2012, respectively. Eleven of 14 PSATs surfaced and transmitted depth and temperature data archived for the duration of their deployment (121–302 days). Among these eleven PSATs, five were recovered and 15-sec archival data was downloaded. Following exit from the Saint John River in the fall, tagged fish occupied a mean monthly depth of 76.3–81.6 m at temperatures as low as 4.9˚C throughout the winter before returning to shallower areas in the spring. The majority of ultrasonic detections occurred in the Bay of Fundy, but fish were detected as far as Riviere Saint-Jean, Quebec, approximately 1500 km from the Bay of Fundy (representing long-distance migratory rates of up to 44 km/day). All PSATs were first detected in the Bay of Fundy. Tags that released in February and April were found 5–21 km offshore of the Saint John Harbour, while tags that released in June were first detected in near shore areas throughout the Bay of Fundy. The substrate at winter tag release locations (estimated from backward numerical particle-tracking experiments) consisted primarily of moraines and postglacial mud substrate with low backscatter strength, indicative of soft or smooth seabed. Based on the proximity of winter tag release locations, the consistent depths observed between fish, and previous research, it is suspected that a winter aggregation exists in the Bay of Fundy. This study expands the understanding of the marine distribution and range of Atlantic sturgeon on the east coast of Canada.

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