Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Marine Science

Major Professor

Joeseph J. Torres, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David Mann, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Susan Bell, Ph.D.


Metabolic poise, Lactate dehydrogenase, Citrate synthase, Proximate composition, Sebastes


Rockfish are commercially and recreationally important, yet due to the in habitat depths at which rockfish inhabit, little is known about their ecology. As a consequence, management of rockfish population as a fishery resource is a work in progress. In particular, changes in physiological condition aver the course of the year is poorly described. This study examined 19 different species of Sebastes from the Southern California Bight over four seasons (late summer, fall, winter, and spring) using metabolic enzyme assays. Enzymes used were lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), malate dehydrogenase (MDH), pyruvate kinase (PK), and citrate synthase (CS). Some muscle composition data (percent water, percent protein, percent lipid, and protein as a percentage of wet mass) were also used to help interpret the enzyme data. Enzyme activity was lowest in the summer when expressed as activity per gram wet weight but when it was expressed per gram protein the trend was reversed. We found that the rockfish tend to have the highest protein as a percentage of wet mass (P%WM) in the spring right before the upwelling period begins and have the lowest P%WM in late summer after the peak of upwelling. Their metabolic poise (represented as CS/LDH) grouped according to locomotory habit (benthic or bentho-pelagic). A mass and oxygen consumption plot also showed that the species group according to locomotory habit. With those known to be benthic grouped together and those species that are known to more actively swimming had higher values. This knowledge could be used to infer whether a rockfish that hasn't been well studied is benthic or bentho-pelagic.