This study examined the residence pattern of ayu larvae and juveniles occurring in the surf zone of an extensive sandy beach, in the north part of the Sea of Japan. In this region, ayu larvae mainly hatched in October and November, generally appeared in the surf zone in hatching order, and were continuously present until the following January. During a short period after mid-to late January when the water temperature fell below 10 degrees C, ayu larvae and juveniles concurrently migrated from the surf zone regardless of their size and age, resulting in a longer term residence for earlier-hatched ayu. This was in contrast to studies in other waters, which found that early-hatched ayu have a short-term residence and late-hatched a long-term residence. Furthermore, faster growth that enables ayu to reach the maximum residence size (around 40 mm BL) in the surf zone during the period when the water temperature was still over 10 degrees C might lead to earlier migration and a shorter residence term. This process might be applicable only to the early-hatched group (defined as individuals hatched in late September and October) and depends on the size of each individual, thus leading to a gradual migration of larger individuals as they attain maximum residence size.
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