Kellet's whelk (Kelletia kelletii), a large subtidal gastropod is the basis for an emerging bycatch fishery in California. This commercial fishery has increased dramatically in the past two decades, but there is little biological information available to inform its management. There are currently no size limits and only seasonal restrictions for commercial and recreational fishing for Kellet’s whelk in California with annual total allowable catch at 100,000 pounds. After surveying 28 subtidal rocky reefs across the Kellet’s whelk range, our results indicate large natural variation in size frequencies, specifically between the mainland and island populations. Designing harvesting strategies that would maintain these size frequency distributions – e.g., a larger size limit at the islands and a smaller size limit at the mainland populations -- may generate more sustainable and productive economic and ecological outcomes.


Marine Biology


Crow White

Lab site

California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly SLO)

Funding Acknowledgement

This material is based upon work supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of HHMI. This work was administered by the Cal Poly Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education (CESAME) and the Fresno State Science and Mathematics Education Center (SMEC) on behalf of the California State University.



URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/star/343


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