Dataset: Bigelow Bight fish and lg inverts
Deployment: NEC-MD2001-2

Benthic habitat correlates of juvenile fish - large inverts & fish
Principal Investigator: 
Michele Dionne (Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve)
BCO-DMO Data Manager: 
Nancy Copley (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, WHOI BCO-DMO)

Benthic habitat correlates of juvenile fish distribution in the Bigelow Bight and adjacent estuaries: linkages between fish, habitats, substrate and human activity

Additional Project Participants:
Vincent Balzano, Commercial Fisherman, F/V North Star
Richard MacKenzie, Researcher
Scott Orringer, Researcher
Jeff Reed, Commercial Fisherman
Kenneth Young, Commercial Fisherman
Marshall Alexander, Commercial Fisherman, F/V Dee Dee Mae II

This study represents a collaboration between researchers and members of the Gulf of Maine fishing industry to survey juvenile groundfish distribution and abundance along transects from estuarine through inner shelf areas of the Bigelow Bight. The project characterizes associated substrate and prey availability in order to determine fisheries habitat resources with the region. The project features the use of a sediment profile imager (known as a SPI camera), a device which takes photos of substrates and associated organisms both from a surface and from a profile view to depths up to 1 ft. This technique was combined with traditional research sampling methods for fish (small mesh trap nets, beam trawls, and variable mesh gill nets) and benthos (Ponar grab sampler). The survey design compared fish, benthos and substrates between estuarine, nearshore and offshore areas, including sites within these zones that have been altered by human activities (i.e. dumping of dredge material, outfall of treated sewage, and bottom trawling). Traditional cod spawning and feeding grounds and a closed area (Jeffrey's Ledge) are included in the survey. Results of the study will provide much needed data to determine estuarine and inner shelf fish habitat associations, the food resource value of these habitats, and their response to current and previous human alterations.

More information about this dataset deployment