Biology and Management of Dogfish Sharks

16. Reproductive Biology and Management Implications for Spiny Dogfish in Puget Sound, Washington

Cindy A. Tribuzio, Vincent F. Gallucci, and Gregory G. Bargmann

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781934874073.ch17

Abstract.—The fishery for spiny dogfish Squalus acanthias in Washington State has been ongoing for over a century. Management efforts have historically been limited and recent interest in increasing management efforts has led to renewed interest in the biology of the species. This project was undertaken to aid in management by describing the reproductive cycle of the dogfish in Puget Sound. Reproductive tracts were sampled from 170 male and 358 female dogfish from the catch of a commercial trawler over one year. Size at 50% maturity was 89.9 cm for females and 74.1 cm for males (total length extended). Reproductive stages were developed for adult females based on the proportion of yolk absorbed by the developing embryo. Size, weight, and appearance changes in the reproductive tract for both males and females throughout maturation and reproduction are described. There did not appear to be a significant seasonality to the reproductive timing, in that the onset of pregnancy and pupping were observed year round, however, peaks in activity were observed in December for the onset of pregnancy and October for pupping.