Oceanographic drivers of legal-sized male Dungeness crab in the California Current System


I investigated environmental drivers of US West coast legal-sized male Dungeness crab (Cancer magister or Metacarcinus magister) with the goal of developing an environmental index that can inform the stock assessment on future recruitment. A conceptual life history approach is used to generate life-stage-specific and spatio-temporally specific mechanistic hypotheses regarding oceanographic variables that influence survival at each life stage. Linear models are fit using the pre-season abundance estimates of the coastal population of legal-sized male Dungeness crab from 1970 to 2016 (North and Central California) and from 1982-2016 (Oregon and Washington) as the dependent variable and environmental drivers from ROMS model outputs for the California Current System as the independent variables, with environmental predictors selected using model comparison techniques.