Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biological Oceanography



First Advisor

Charles J. Fish


The objectives of this study were to observe the location of the herring catches in Block Island Sound, to perform racial analyses on the fish, and to study the stomach contents both quantitatively and qualitatively. Periodic trips were made on a commercial fishing vessel in Block Island Sound during the winter of 1951 to gather biological data.

This investigation established that herring are to be found in Block Island Sound from about the first of January to the middle of March; that the shoals are made up of two groups, spent adults and immature adolescents; that during January and February the fish are confined to the coldest water in the Sound, a narrow band close to and paralleling the shore; that this population has a mean vertebral number of 56.48 and a mean acute count of 14.09; that the herring hardly feed during January and the first half of February, although thereafter the feeding rate increases rapidly; that the adolescents usually feed more intensively than the adults; that the most important single food organism is the copepod, Pseudocalanus minutus. Constituting more than 70 percent of the food by number; and finally, that the herring tend to select the larger crustacean components in preference to the smaller ones.



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