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Fall 2006 Update: Timing of the Spring Bloom

The timing of the spring bloom can be of importance to the recruitment of fish stocks and the production realized by various components of the food chain. Bloom start and peak date was estimated for 9km squares on the Northeast Shelf (see map showing bloom start date for all locations). Many locations in Southern New England and the Middle Atlantic Bight were poorly estimated and appear black in the map indicating no value could be estimated with the regression procedure. In part, this was likely due to the fact the fall bloom is the dominant feature in these areas. Mean start and peak bloom date were calculated for the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank areas (see figure). Bloom start data was typically in early March in both areas, with Georges Bank showing evidence of a more variable start timing of the bloom. Peak bloom date was typically in early April, and again the peak bloom date associated with Georges Bank was more variable, with some years not showing a peak in bloom development until the end of April.

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