Population Structure of River Herring in the Albemarle Sound, North Carolina: Does Morphometric Analysis Agree with Other Stock Identification Methods?
River herring use tributaries of the Albemarle Sound, North Carolina as spawning and nursery habitats. Stocks of these anadromous fish have experienced dramatic declines in North Carolina, and show no sign of recovery. Although the state has designated considerable resources to the management of river herring, we still do not fully understand river herring utilization of North Carolina’s estuaries, and know little about the structure and composition of populations. Determining the population, or “stock” structure of species is crucial for the proper distribution of management efforts. We seek to determine the population structure of river herring in the Albemarle Sound system using morphometric analysis, and compare the results of this analysis to those of other stock identification methods utilized in previous studies.