Juvenile Japanese flounder Paralichthys olivaceus usually inhabit high salinity inshore sandy areas. In June-August 1997, 25 individuals of juvenile Japanese flounder (33-75 mm total length) were collected in the Natori and Nanakita River estuaries in Sendai Bay, Japan. This is the first record of this species being collected in brackish estuaries in which salinities fluctuate from 0 to 30 over a spring tidal cycle. Factors of rainfall, river flow, or year class strength of Japanese flounder were unable to explain the unusual occurrence of this species in the estuaries. The collected juvenile Japanese flounder were considered to have migrated into the estuaries around the time of the passage of an unusually early typhoon that affected this area, indicating the possibility that this species utilizes estuaries for refuge from strong disturbance in its usual habitats. The juveniles fed mainly upon mysids both in the estuaries and the sandy beach area, indicating that estuaries can be a substitute nursery habitat for this species. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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