Improving Coastal Management Room 201C
Jan 25, 2023 09:35 AM - 10:35 AM(America/Chicago)
20230125T0935 20230125T1035 America/Chicago Improving Coastal Management Room 201C 2023 Bays and Bayous Symposium
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Changes in the Fish Community Following Artificial Reef Installation in a Northern Gulf of Mexico Estuary
09:50 AM - 10:05 AM (America/Chicago) 2023/01/25 15:50:00 UTC - 2023/01/25 16:05:00 UTC
The Grand Bay estuary is a retrograding deltaic system along the northern Gulf of Mexico experiencing shoreline erosion rates of 0.50 – 6.50 m/yr. Total marsh extent at the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is decreasing as exposed erosional marsh edge loss is exceeding upland-marsh migration. Sub- and intertidal artificial reefs were installed within the Reserve in late 2020 and early 2021 with the goals of decreasing shoreline retreat by reducing wave energy and creating functional habitat. Using a Before-After-Control-Impact (BACI) experimental design, resident and transient fish assemblages were monitored pre- and post-reef installation every other month for two years using a gill net at the three sub- and intertidal reef sites and three control sites. Preliminary results are showing an increase in hardhead (Ariopsis felis) and gafftopsail (Bagre marinus) catfish, croaker (Micropogonias undulatus), and speckled trout (Cynoscion nebulosus) at reef sites compared to control sites. The total number of fish caught in the gill net has decreased at all sites post-reef construction, however, sites where the reef was installed saw a much smaller decrease compared to control sites. All reef sites had an increase in total fish caught post-reef installation if the decrease in menhaden (Brevoortia patronus) was excluded. Artificial reefs can hopefully be a valuable tool in conserving marsh extent as well as creating functional habitat and this project will be used to inform project managers about their impact to the local fish community in an estuary environment.
Michael Archer
Mississippi Department Of Marine Resources/Grand Bay NERR
Jonathan Pitchford
Grand Bay NERR
Co-Producing a Shared Characterization of Depredation in the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Fishery
10:05 AM - 10:20 AM (America/Chicago) 2023/01/25 16:05:00 UTC - 2023/01/25 16:20:00 UTC
Depredation, defined as the partial/complete removal of a hooked fish by a non-target species, is a cryptic form of mortality that can have significant implications on the accuracy of stock assessments and species management efforts. Given escalating occurrences of depredation in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) reef fish fishery and increased frustration from stakeholders concerning this issue, we worked to produce a shared characterization of the impacts of GoM reef fish depredation. First, we gathered and analyzed an existing GoM depredation-related dataset. Then, we designed and implemented a depredation-focused electronic survey of GoM fishermen. Data synthesis from these two phases laid the groundwork for a collaborative workshop, which: 1) allowed stakeholders to develop and assess regional GoM reef fish depredation community models; 2) facilitated in-person discussion and reciprocal learning among researchers, resource managers, and stakeholders about GoM reef fish depredation; and 3) identified knowledge gaps concerning GoM reef fish depredation. Stakeholders identified contributing factors to increased depredation rates, including changes in fisheries management and socio-economic dynamics, and environmental/ecological alterations. Regions with the highest depredation rates were identified through participatory mapping exercises and included areas off Pensacola, FL, and Galveston, TX. Community models developed from group discussion illuminated differences in perceptions and attitudes towards depredation at the state level. Solutions to increased depredation included the implementation of a directed/expanded shark fishery and support for shark deterrents. Our efforts represent a first step to quantify the nature and extent of depredation in the GoM reef fish fishery.
Ana Osowski
Mississippi State University/Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium
Amanda Jefferson
Mississippi State University/Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium
Alena Anderson
Mississippi State University, Marine Fisheries Ecology Lab
Danielle McAree
Mississippi State University, Marine Fisheries Ecology Lab
Steven Scyphers
University Of South Alabama
Savannah Swinea
Northeastern University
Evan Prasky
Northeastern University
Sarah Gibbs
University Of South Alabama/Dauphin Island Sea Lab
Mandy Karnauskas
National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration, Southeast Fisheries Science Center
Marcus Drymon
Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium
University of Southern Mississippi
Mississippi Department of Marine Resources/Grand Bay NERR
Mississippi State University/Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium
University of Southern Mississippi
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