Are fishes larger in RCAs than reference sites (REF)?

Many species sampled were found to have greater mean lengths inside the Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA) than those fishes sampled outside in the reference areas (REF). However, Rockfish Conservation Areas are deeper than the reference areas, and because many species exhibit ontogenetic (life-history) shifts to deeper water as they age, it is difficult to determine with certainty the cause of mean-length differences. At this point in time, the differences in mean lengths displayed here are attributed to life-history changes, and future analysis will compare current data with historical record to better elucidate differences between the RCA and REF average mean-lengths by species. Shown here are length-frequency distributions for Yellowtail Rockfish, Canary Rockfish, Widow Rockfish, and Lingcod by site collected during 2012-2014.