Ecology and Habitat Use of Juvenile Rockfishes (Sebastes spp.) Associated with Artificial Reefs in Puget Sound, Washington
Abstract:We investigated the efficacy of small-size (15 cm diameter) quarry rock deployed in a low-relief (<0.5 m) substrate configuration as shelter-habitat for young-of-the-year (YOY) rockfish (Sebastes spp.) in Puget Sound, Washington. Two thousand eight hundred tons of rock were used to construct eight reefs. Four Integrated Reefs were constructed by augmenting existing high-relief artificial reefs with low-relief quarry rock, and four Isolated Nursery Reefs were constructed well away from the Integrated Reefs using only low-relief quarry rock. We compare distributions of YOY and adult rockfish from one Integrated Reef and its paired Isolated Nursery Reef during the first recruitment season after reef construction. Preliminary results show higher densities of YOY rockfish on an Isolated Nursery Reef than its nearby paired Integrated Reef. Adult and YAY rockfish tended to associate with high-relief and low-relief substrate, respectively, on the Integrated Reef. On low-relief substrate, we found YOY rockfish primarily on the most complex areas of the reefs, where the substrate was three or four rocks in thickness. Five factors which may contribute to these distributions are considered.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1994-09-01
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