Analysis of Arctic Cod Movements in the Beaufort Sea Nearshore Region, 1978-79


  • Lawrence L. Moulton
  • Kenneth E. Tarbox



Animal behaviour, Animal distribution, Animal population, Arctic cod, Marine ecology, Ocean temperature, Salinity, Water masses, Beaufort Sea


A study was conducted to investigate distribution and abundance of arctic cod in the nearshore region of the Beaufort Sea. Data collection methods included 3 m otter trawl and hydroacoustic surveys. Temperature and conductivity measurements were taken throughout the study area on a regular basis. The results indicated that arctic cod are associated with a transition layer between a surface water mass, characterized by low salinity and high temperature, and a bottom water mass, characterized by high salinity and low temperature. Arctic cod apparently oriented to the shoreward edge of the marine water mass and redistributed themselves depending on the location of the shoreward edge. It is hypothesized that the transition layer concentrates food organisms, and this abundance of food may be one factor that induces shoals of arctic cod to utilize this transition layer.

Key words: arctic cod, Alaskan Beaufort Sea, nearshore movements, temperature/salinity association, coastal habitat use, Boreogadus saida