Effects of variable mortality and recruitment on performance of catch-curve residuals as indicators of fish year-class strength

Matthew J. Catalano, A. C. Dutterer, W. E. Pine, M. S. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We built a simulation model to assess the performance of catch-curve residuals as an index of year-class strength for a short-lived and a long-lived fish life history type across a range of assumed values for the variation in recruitment (CV(R)) and fishing mortality (CV(F)). The magnitude of CVR strongly influenced the utility of catch-curve residuals in assessing year-class strength. The probability of finding a significant correlation between catch-curve residuals and true recruitment values exceeded 09 when CVR was greater than 0.5 for the long-lived and greater than 1.0 for the short-lived life history types. This suggests that larger recruitment values have a greater probability of being successfully 'tracked' through the age structure. Conversely, the magnitude of interannual variation in fishing mortality weakly influenced the performance of catch-curve residuals. The inspection of individual catch-curve residuals relative to the known recruitment values that produced them showed considerable scatter, indicating that the utility of this metric in assessing individual year-class strength is small. Sensitivity analyses showed that the performance of catch-curve residuals improved modestly with equal sampling vulnerability across ages and decreased slightly with increased fishing mortality. Our results suggest that catch-curve residuals can serve as a rudimentary measure of recruitment under ranges of recruitment and mortality variation similar to those frequently observed in field studies
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-305
Number of pages11
JournalNorth American Journal of Fisheries Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 19 2009


  • INHS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Ecology


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