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HABITAT AND SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF EARLY BENTHIC STAGES OF THE SNOW CRAB CHIONOECETES OPILIO O. FABRICIUS OFF THE NORTH SHORE OF THE GULF OF ST. LAWRENCE

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ABSTRACT Observations with regard to the spatial distribution of juvenile Chionoecetes opilio, with a carapace width (CW) <30 mm, were made in populations located off the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence during the summer of 1982. Sampling was conducted using beam trawls at depths of 25-175 m over various substrate types, from sand to mud. The bottom temperature at various depths was also determined. Resultant findings indicate that juvenile snow crabs are widely distributed over areas in which temperatures are <3°C, sediments contain > 40% mud, and depths > 60 m. In addition, the sex ratio was 1:1 without segregation between sexes for crabs <30 mm CW. Size frequency distributions had a strong mode at 7 mm during the whole season, while a second mode at 10 mm appeared in July. Crabs with CW > 15 mm were virtually absent in beam trawl samples.

10.1163/193724087X00414
/content/journals/10.1163/193724087x00414
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/content/journals/10.1163/193724087x00414
2017-08-20

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