Fish Populations Associated with Habitat-Modified Piers and Natural Woody Debris in Piedmont Carolina Reservoirs

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Title: Fish Populations Associated with Habitat-Modified Piers and Natural Woody Debris in Piedmont Carolina Reservoirs
Author: Barwick, Robert Dempsey
Advisors: Kenneth Pollock, Committee Member
Thomas Kwak, Committee Co-Chair
Richard Noble, Committee Co-Chair
Abstract: A primary concern associated with reservoir residential development is the loss of littoral habitat complexity. One potential approach to compensate for this loss is to deploy artificial habitat modules under existing piers, but the benefit of this practice on developed reservoirs has not been demonstrated. To determine the effect of pier habitat modifications, 77 piers located on 47, 100-m transects on two Piedmont Carolina reservoirs were selected for modification using plastic "fish hab" modules augmented with brush (brushed habs), hab modules alone (habs), or as reference piers without modification. Fish were sampled from all piers and transects in April, July, and October 2001 using a boat-mounted electrofisher. Generally, catch rates were higher at brushed hab piers and piers with habs than at reference piers during all seasons. Similarly, fish abundance was generally higher on transects containing natural woody debris, brushed habs, or habs than that on reference developed transects during spring and summer with exceptions during fall. On these reservoirs, fish abundance associated with developed shorelines appears to be related to the structural complexity of available habitat, regardless of structure composition. Supplementing piers with habitat structures appears to serve as an effective management technique to enhance littoral habitat complexity in residentially developed reservoirs.
Date: 2002-06-20
Degree: MS
Discipline: Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/1438


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