The waters of Nantucket Sound support a diverse fish community. Both commercial and recreational fishing are conducted in the Sound. During the summer months, a temperature gradient forms off the east coast of Cape Cod that demarcates the cold-water fishes to the north and warmer water fishes to the south. This gradient, however, is variable and will oscillate north and south along a 20-40 mile section of the Cape Cod Coast. Due to its geographic location and the temperature gradient observed along Cape Cod, Nantucket Sound serves as a migratory pathway for many warm water species that pass through the Sound moving into Cape Cod Bay and Massachusetts Bay. The area also serves as a northern border for several summer migrants including scup,northern fluke and black sea bass.
Information on fish resources from scientific studies or monitoring activities in Nantucket Sound is less prevalent. The main source of resource data available in Nantucket Sound is from the MarineFisheries independent fisheries monitoring program. MarineFisheries conducts bi-annual resource trawls for all coastal waters including Nantucket Sound and the information gathered is independent of commercial fisheries monitoring. Data from those trawls located in Nantucket Sound are discussed in detail in Section 5.0.