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Late-Pleistocene and Holocene Remains of Hysterocarpus traski (Tule Perch) from Clear Lake, California, and Inferred Holocene Temperature Fluctuations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Richard W. Casteel
Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6 Canada
David P. Adam
United States Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California 94025 USA
John D. Sims
United States Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California 94025 USA


The remains of scales of Hysterocarpus traski Gibbons (Tule perch) were found throughout a 27.44-m core from Clear Lake. Most scales occurred between the mud surface and deposits approximately 11,000 years old. Changes in growth rates of the animals were examined by measuring scale annuli and applying an empirically established regression of fish length on scale radius. The data indicate a pattern of accelerating growth rates, reaching a peak between ⋍4000 and 2800 BP. After ⋍2800 BP, growth rates decline markedly. Because the growth rates of these animals are essentially dependent on temperature, the changes observed in the patterns of growth probably reflect changes in climate in the northern Coast Range. The general pattern of inferred temperature increase during the early and middle Holocene, ending between ⋍4000 and 2800 BP, is consistent with evidence from tree-line studies and palynology indicating higher temperatures in parts of the western United States during this period.

Research Article
University of Washington

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