Species composition was dominated numerically by northern anchovy (45%) and Pacific herring (44%), followed by jacksmelt (4%), Pacific sardine (4%), and whitebait smelt (Allosmerus elongates, 2%).
In the NC, the average density of jacksmelt was much higher in both seasons in 2004 and 2005 than at any other time; Chinook salmon (both juveniles and adults) and Pacific herring average density was highest in summer of 2004 and 2005; northern anchovy and Pacific sardine density was highest in fall of 2004 and 2005; and jack mackerel (Trachurus symmetricus) were captured only in 2004 (both seasons) and during the summer of 2005.
Among the other principal species, jacksmelt and juvenile Chinook salmon were more abundant in the NC-summer community, whereas medusafish were more abundant in the GF-summer community.
Here, the NC-summer community was dominated by jacksmelt, Pacific herring, and juvenile Chinook salmon, and the NC-fall community was dominated by northern anchovy, Pacific sardine, and medusafish.
Chief among these "forage" species in our study were northern anchovy and Pacific herring; lesser contributions were made by jacksmelt and Pacific sardine, depending on location and season.
In 2004-05 when upwelling was weak and delayed, longer periods of poleward transport of GF water toward the NC during spring and summer may have resulted, perhaps leading to the higher densities of clupeiform fishes, jacksmelt, and juvenile salmon we observed off the NC during that period.
Lowest abundances were generally encountered in the coldest mon ths of the study (January 1995, 1996, 1997, and 1999) with the January 1998 sample containing about 3X the number of fishes as the previous January samples due to a large recruitment of jacksmelt.
Included in this group were bonefish (Albula vulpes) along with striped mullet (Mugil cephalus), jacksmelt (Atherinopsis californiensis), shadow goby (Quietula ycauda), and YOY of diamond turbot (Hypsopsetta guttulata).