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Free Content Virginia's Artificial Reef Study: Description and Results of Year I

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The 3-year Virginia artificial reef study began on 1 January 1983 with the aim of creating a master plan for reef development in Virginia's waters. In the first year, four types of benthic structures (high surface area tires—HST's; low surface area tires—LST's; concrete igloos; concrete pipe pyramids) were deployed at two sites—Wachapreague and Cape Charles, Virginia. Evaluations of the structural integrity and effectiveness of these reefs were made by SCUBA observation and rod and reel fishing by the study team.

All structures were in place by 7 July 1983. At Wachapreague, the highest catch rates over a 6-week period were obtained on the LST's (11.43 fish/rod-h) and HST's (10.01 f/rh). Concrete pipes also performed well (8.28 f/rh), but the igloos (3.10 f/rh) seemed to protect fish from the anglers. All units performed better than the control station (1.04 f/rh). Results at Cape Charles were similar in terms of number of fish, but lower by weight because many of the fish were juveniles.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1985-07-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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