Artificial reefs (ARs) have been used around the globe for a number of years with the goal of enhancing local fish populations, species diversity and fishing opportunities for commercial and recreational fishers. However, central to the problem of quantifying AR productivity for mobile species is knowing when and for how long they are resident to the AR, and connectivity with adjacent natural habitats. To address this, 45 Kelp Bass (KB), Barred Sand Bass (BSB) and California Sheephead (SH) were monitored using acoustic telemetry on Wheeler North Artificial Reef (WNAR), and an additional 20 individuals were tagged at three adjacent natural rocky reefs near San Clemente, California. SH exhibited significantly higher site fidelity (proportion of days detected; 74 ± 27%) than KB (45 ± 38%) and BSB (30 ± 26%) to WNAR, however, BSB exhibited seasonal residency patterns. Additionally, within WNAR, fish displayed seasonal movement patterns characteristic of spawning behavior. Finally, all fish displayed residency to the reef on which they were tagged, and only 13.3% of all tagged fish were detected on a reef other than the tagging reef. Taken together, the long-term residency and site attachment behavior displayed by the three species examined here suggest that WNAR is serving as satisfactory habitat for these species by providing sufficient prey resources, and that WNAR is providing suitable habitat that meets important life history needs, such as spawning, thereby producing additional fish biomass to the area that would not have been created otherwise.
|Advisor:||Lowe, Christopher G.|
|Commitee:||Anthony, Kim M., Johnson, Darren W., Steele, Mark A.|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 57/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Conservation biology, Biological oceanography, Aquatic sciences|
|Keywords:||Acoustic telemetry, Artificial reef, Barred sand bass, California sheephead, Kelp bass, Site fidelity|
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