A 15-month study of an artificial sportfishing reef in Puget Sound was carried out to determine the influence of construction material on habitat preferences of fish populations. Using SCUBA diving and visual observation methods, the concrete-rubble and automobile tire reef, as well
as adjacent natural areas, were subjected to day and night surveys each month. The artificial habitats supported larger fish populations than did the natural habitats. However, there were no obvious preferences for any particular artificial habitat exhibited by fishes, which were mainly
represented by the Embiotocidae (surfperches), Scorpaenidae (rockfish), Hexagrammidae (greenlings), and Cottidae (sculpins). Lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus) constituted a significant exception in that they deposited their eggs only among the concrete rubble. Observed daytime fish populations
were greater than at night, and fall and winter numbers were generally higher than in other seasons, on the artificial habitats. Cost analysis and physical observations indicated that concrete rubble was a better material than automobile tires for this environment, and concrete was recommended
for use in future reefs.
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