Incorporating fecundity into stock assessment models may improve stock assessment and management of Bristol Bay red king crab Paralithodes camtschaticus. To do this, the size—fecundity relationship for the population must be established, including variability due to female reproductive state. In 2012, egg clutches were collected from red king crab in Bristol Bay, AK, and individual fecundity was estimated. Best evidence suggests small females were primiparous (brooding first egg clutch), which provided the opportunity to compare estimated fecundity of primiparous and multiparous (brooding second or subsequent egg clutch) females. In the best-fit model, fecundity increased with female size and below 108.8 mm carapace length (CL) the slope of the size—fecundity relationship decreased by 27%.Multiparous females were 28%–30% more fecund than primiparous females of the same size. If managers incorporate fecundity into stock assessment models, the differences in fecundity between primiparous and multiparous females should be considered, otherwise population fecundity will be overestimated if the size—fecundity relationship of only multiparous females is used in the calculations because of the differences in fecundity between primiparous and multiparous females of the same size.
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Vol. 34 • No. 2