We deployed benthic traps in the Arthur Kill (1995), Kill van Kull (1996), and Hudson River (1996), U.S.A, near wrecks, pile fields, piers, and in open water areas (no structure). Over 8300 fish of 31 different species of fish were collected, the majority of which were young-of-the-year
individuals (98%). Many typical estuarine species were found in all three waterways and across several habitats, though species abundance and diversity was significantly depressed under piers (mean CPUE = 0.15 ind trap−1 d−1). Since the majority of the fish
were collected from the Arthur Kill (n = 7812), the assemblage structure in this system was evaluated more thoroughly. Assemblage structure was significantly different among habitat types (wreck, pile field, open water) with mean CPUE in open water areas (mean = 6.1 ind trap−1
d−1) being lower than near wrecks (mean = 6.8 ind trap−1 d−1) or pile fields (mean = 6.6 ind trap−1 d−1). Results suggest that fish assemblage patterns may be a function of structural complexity, though other
factors such as shading or water depth may also have measurable effects. Collectively, the data suggest that the New York–New Jersey Harbor estuary provides habitat for a number of economically and ecologically important species.
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