Fish Utilization Patterns on Temperate Rubble-Mound Jetties in North Carolina
Quantitative visual surveys were conducted on a recently constructed jetty (1980) and an older jetty (1966) at Masonboro Inlet, North Carolina, U.S.A., in order to compare the noncryptic fishes as follows: between the two jetties; between the inlet and ocean sides of the older jetty; between the mid-depth (2 m) and jetty base (4 m depth) of the old jetty. Collections of four resident reef fishes were made in order to assess dietary dependence on reef-associated prey. The primary reef residents were three porgies (Archosargus probatocephalus, Diplodus holbrooki, and Lagodon rhomboides), black sea bass (Centropristis striata), tautog (Tautoga onitis), and pigfish (Orthopristis chrysoptera). Bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) and round scad (Decapterus punctatus) were the primary transient pelagics while spot (Leiostomus xanthurus) was a primary transient sand bottom species. Except for greater numbers of pigfish and sheepshead (A. probatocephalus) at the new jetty, the abundance and composition of fishes on the two jetties were similar. The abundance and composition of near-bottom fishes on the inlet and ocean side were also similar except for a greater abundance of pigfish at the ocean side. Mid-depth surveys indicated that spottail pinfish were more abundant on the ocean side while black sea bass and spot were more abundant on the inlet side. A major difference was observed in increased abundance of the porgies, bluefish, and pigfish populations at the mid-depth stations and increased abundance of black sea bass at the jetty base stations. The dietary analysis of the three porgies and tautog indicated a dependence on reef-associated prey.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1985-07-01
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