Distribution and abundance

We examined the spatial distribution (Level 1) and abundance (Level 2) of fishes under piers, at pier edges, in pile fields, and in open water in 1993,1994, and 1996 (see Able et al., 1998 for a more complete description) to assess their value as habitat. Un-baited traps were deployed on the bottom at each of the study sites where they remained submerged for 24 h and were recovered on the following day. All captured fishes were measured and catch data were standardized to catch per unit effort (CPUE, expressed as individuals trap-1 day-1).

As a result of the above efforts, we collected 1,756 individual fish of thirty different species in three years of sampling across all habitat types. Most of the fishes were young-of-the-year (YOY) individuals (see Able et al., 1998; Duffy-Anderson, Mander-son, and Able, 2003), though large American eels (Anguilla rostrata) were common. The most abundant fish species was the striped bass, which made up 23 percent of the total catch. Atlantic tomcod, American eel, black sea bass (Centropristis striata), andcunner (Tautogolabrus adspersus) also constituted large portions of the fish catch, comprising 17 percent, 12 percent, 10 percent, and 7 percent, respectively. There were variations in abundance of individual species among years, with large numbers of certain species occurring in some years and not in others. For example, black sea bass were collected in high numbers in 1994 but in 1993 and 1996 they were very rare. Similarly, spotted hake (Urophycis regia) were collected in abundance in 1996 but were infrequent in 1993 and 1994. Finally,

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