Despite suggestions that turbulence can affect the migration of zooplankton, field observations of such effects are scarce. This is especially the case for bottom-associated (demersal) zooplankton that reside in the typically turbulent near-bottom environment. Using moored sensors deployed at two coastal sites in the North Pacific and the Red Sea, we present observations of the effects of turbulence on the nocturnal emergence of demersal zooplankton. A cabled observatory consisting of a plankton camera, an acoustic current profiler and environmental sensors, was deployed near bottom in 20 m of water near Oshima Island, Japan. Observations were also obtained from a second site near a coral reef in 16 m of water in the Red Sea. Acoustic backscatter data obtained from current profilers at both sites provided a proxy for zooplankton density. Combined with simultaneous estimates of turbulence intensity, the observations suggest that the nocturnal emergence of demersal zooplankton was hindered by elevated levels of turbulence. While our findings are inferred from acoustic data, agreement between the two different sites supports our hypothesis that demersal zooplankton may remain near the bed during times of strong turbulence.