GOA Report Card - 2022

Western Gulf of Alaska 2022 Report Card (pdf)

For more information on individual Report Card indicators, please see \Report Card indicator Description and Methods" in the Appendix of this Report (p.218).

  • Winter average PDO index (Dec.-Feb., 1980–2022) continued its negative trend in 2022, reflecting cooling sea surface temperatures in the GOA.
  • Sea-surface temperatures in the summer (°>C) (Jun.-Aug., 1985–2022) 2022 in the western GOA were warmer than average, but remained within 1SD of the long-term mean.
  • Copepod biomass (g m-3) was approximately average (1998–2022) in 2022, indicating potentially average foraging conditions for planktivorous predators. Total (large and small) calanoid copepods are surveyed south of Seward in May of each year.
  • Copepod community size (ratio of large calanoid copepods to total calanoid copepods) re- mained elevated in 2022, approximately 1SD above average (1998–2022), indicating increased large copepods in the community, relative to small copepods. Total (large and small) calanoid copepods are surveyed south of Seward in May of each year.
  • Motile epifauna biomass (1,000 t), observed during 2021 the NOAA Fisheries bottom trawl survey (May-Aug., 1984–2021), decreased from 2019 to 2021 but remains within 1SD of the long- term mean. The biomass of this guild is dominated by octopuses, hermit crabs, and brittle stars. Hermit crabs, brittle stars, and octopus are below their long-term means while other echinoderms are above their long term mean.
  • Capelin abundance (proportion of diet by weight), as sampled by rhinoceros auklets at Mid- dleton Island (Apr.-Aug., 1986–2022), continue to be minimal in seabird chick diets in recent years, but still remain within 1SD of the long-term mean.
  • Fish apex predator biomass (1,000 t), observed during 2021 the NOAA Fisheries bottom trawl survey (May-Aug., 1984–2021), increased from 2019 to 2021 to within just above 1SD below the long-term mean. The primary species driving these trends include Pacific cod biomass, continuing to stay above their low in 2017, but remain below their long term mean, Arrowtooth flounder, which has trended upward since their low in 2017 but also remain below their long-term mean, and sablefish which are well above their long-term mean.
  • Black-legged kittiwakes reproductive success in 2022 (Jun.-Jul., 1980–2022) increased to 1SD above the long-term mean at the Semidi Islands, potentially, indicating above-average prey availability for these surface-feeding, piscivorous seabirds.
  • Western Gulf of Alaska Steller sea lion non-pup model predicted counts continued a slightly decreasing trend from previous years, remaining within 1SD of the long-term mean (1980–2021). These data have not been updated since 2021.

*indicates time series updated in 2022 Mean Trend  
*Pacific Decadal Oscillation (winter)
download data(.csv)
*Western GOA SST Jun-Aug
download data(.csv)
*Western GOA Copepod Biomass
download data(.csv)
*Western GOA Copepod Community Size
download data(.csv)
Western GOA Motile Epifauna Biomass
download data(.csv)
*Western GOA Capelin in Rhinoceros Auklets Chick Diets
download data(.csv)
Western GOA Apex Fish Biomass
download data(.csv)
*Western GOA Black-legged Kittiwake Reproductive Success
download data(.csv)
Western GOA Steller Sea Lion Non-pups
download data(.csv)

Figure 1: Western Gulf of Alaska report card indicators. See bullets and the full report for descriptions. * indicates time series updated with 2022 data




Eastern Gulf of Alaska 2022 Report Card

  • Multivariate ENSO Index was negative, La Niñ˜a conditions, in the winter of 2021/2022 (Dec./Jan., 1980-2022). A third consecutive winter of La Niña conditions are predicted for winter 2022/2023.
  • Sea-surface temperatures (°C) in the summer of 2022 (Jun.-Aug.), were above average (1985– 2022) in the eastern GOA, and close to 1SD above the long-term mean.
  • Total zooplankton density (# m-3) in southeastern Alaska inside waters (May-Aug., 1988–2022) increased toabove 1SD of the long-term mean, driven by large and small calanoid copepods. This suggests above-average foraging conditions for planktivorous fish, seabirds, and mammals.
  • Copepod community size (ratio of large calanoid copepods to total calanoid copepods) remained approximately average in 2022 (May-Aug., 1997–2022). The copepod community is sampled in Icy Strait (southeast Alaska Inside waters).
  • Motile epifauna biomass (1,000 t), observed during 2021 NOAA Fisheries bottom trawl survey (May-Aug., 1984–2021), decreased from 2019 to 2021 but remains within 1SD of the long-term mean. Hermit crabs, brittle stars, and other echinoderms are all below their long-term means. Eelpouts have also decreased from 2019 to 2021 but remain above their long term mean.
  • Estimated total mature herring biomass (age 3+) of Sitka herring in spring 2022 remains 1 SD above average (1980–2022) continuing a 4 year trend of the largest value in the time series (since 1980). The two populations with ocean influence (Sitka Sound and Craig) were elevated while populations in southeastern AK inner waters and Prince William Sound increased but remained low.
  • Fish apex predator biomass (1,000 t), observed during 2021 NOAA Fisheries bottom trawl survey (May-Aug., 1984–2021), trended downward from a high in 2015 to their second lowest value over the time series in 2021, but remaining just within 1SD of the long-term mean. The decrease over this time period has largely been driven by arrowtooth flounder which are at their lowest value over the time series, more than one standard deviation below their long term mean. Pacific halibut, sablefish, and Pacific cod, have all increased from 2019 and are above their long term means.
  • Growth rates of piscivorous rhinoceros auklet chicks (g d-1) remain 1SD below the long-term mean in 2022 (Jun.-Jul., 1995–2022), but continue a multi-year increasing trend.
  • Eastern Gulf of Alaska Steller sea lion non-pups model predicted counts continue a decreasing trend, but remain above 1SD of the long-term mean (1980–2021) through 2021. However, counts suggest that non-pup have been lower than predicted in 2019 and 2017. These data have not been updated since 2021.

  Mean Trend  
*Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI Dec-Jan))
download data(.csv)
*Eastern GOA SST Jun-Aug
download data(.csv)
*Zooplankton Density Icy Straight (#/m3)
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*Eastern GOA Copepod Community Size
download data(.csv)
Eastern GOA Motile Epifauna Biomass
download data(.csv)
*Sitka Herring Mature Biomass (tons)
download data(.csv)
Eastern GOA Apex Fish Biomass
download data(.csv)
*Rhiniceros Auklet Chick Growth (g/d)
download data(.csv)
Eastern GOA Steller Sea Lion Non-pups
download data(.csv)
  2018-2022 Mean   2018-2022 Trend
  1 s.d. above mean   increase by 1 s.d. over time window
  1 s.d. below mean   decrease by 1 s.d. over time window
  within 1 s.d. of mean   change <1 s.d. over time window
  fewer than 2 data points   fewer than 3 data points

Figure 2: Eastern Gulf of Alaska report card indicators. See bullets and the full report for descriptions. * indicates time series updated with 2022 data