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Resource inventory of marine and estuarine fishes of the West Coast and Alaska: A checklist of North Pacific and Arctic Ocean species from Baja California to the Alaska - Yukon border

January 1, 2005

This is a comprehensive inventory of the fish species recorded in marine and estuarine waters between the Alaska–Yukon Territory border in the Beaufort Sea and Cabo San Lucas at the southern end of Baja California and out about 300 miles from shore. Our westernmost range includes the eastern Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands. In addition, we have also included our best impressions of the species that might reasonably be expected to be members of the West Coast ichthyofauna but have not yet been captured or reported within our study area. These species are marked with an asterisk (*) and have been reported (1) in the western Bering Sea; (2) off Canada’s Yukon Territory and adjacent portions of the Northwest Territories; (3) along the southern-eastern tip (non-Pacific side) of Baja California; and (4) in waters somewhat beyond 300 miles from shore. Although the term West Coast usually refers to the coast of the continuous western states, our usage herein means the entire study area. The West Coast inventory within this range encompasses fish fauna from 44 orders, 232 families, and a minimum of 1,450 species.

Please note that introduced and invasive fish species are marked by double asterisks (**) and that their scientific names are highlighted in gray.

We have compiled this document because the most geographically inclusive previous inventories (Jordan and Evermann 1896a, Jordan et al. 1930) are largely of historical interest and are out of date. More recent lists and compilations have either focused on relatively narrow taxonomic groups (e. g., Kramer et al. 1995, Love et al. 2002), are regional in scope (e. g., Hart 1973, Hubbs et al. 1979, Mecklenburg et al. 2002), or focus on commonly observed species (e. g., Miller and Lea 1972, Eschmeyer and Herald 1983). With the explosion of coastal research and environmental assessments, beginning in the 1970s, and more recently, renewed scientific interest in biodiversity (e.g., effects of global climate change), our own studies on related subjects regarding fish populations, assemblages, and biological habitats, suggested this was the appropriate time to update and summarize our knowledge.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2005
Title Resource inventory of marine and estuarine fishes of the West Coast and Alaska: A checklist of North Pacific and Arctic Ocean species from Baja California to the Alaska - Yukon border
DOI 10.3133/70179564
Authors Milton S. Love, Catherine W. Mecklenburg, T. Anthony Mecklenburg, Lyman K. Thorsteinson
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Unnumbered Series
Index ID 70179564
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Fisheries Research Center