Presentation Title

Assessing the effects of seawall armoring on fish in Elliott Bay, Washington

Session Title

Session S-06H: Puget Sound Shorelines and the Impacts of Armoring: State of the Science 2014

Conference Track

Shorelines

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2014 : Seattle, Wash.)

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Start Date

1-5-2014 1:30 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 3:00 PM

Abstract

Seawall armoring is ubiquitous along developed shorelines worldwide, but its effects on fish and crabs are poorly understood. In related studies, we compared habitat use between three nearshore sites that were modified by seawalls and three unarmored reference beaches with minimal anthropogenic structure in Elliott Bay, Washington. Snorkel surveys at the surface and scuba surveys at the bottom of the water column suggested that seawall armoring affects the species assemblage structures of fish and crabs in intertidal and shallow subtidal areas. Flatfish in particular were negatively impacted by seawall presence and occurred in lower densities at seawall sites than reference beaches. Additionally, all observations of larval fish and black rockfish Sebastes melanops occurred at the reference beach Olympic Sculpture Park. Diet sampling from juvenile Pacific salmon Oncorhynchus spp. captured at these sites suggested that seawall armoring also influences diet composition, especially by reducing benthic and epibenthic prey consumption. These results suggest that seawall armoring can influence the use of nearshore habitats by fish in Puget Sound.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Type

Text

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May 1st, 1:30 PM May 1st, 3:00 PM

Assessing the effects of seawall armoring on fish in Elliott Bay, Washington

Room 607

Seawall armoring is ubiquitous along developed shorelines worldwide, but its effects on fish and crabs are poorly understood. In related studies, we compared habitat use between three nearshore sites that were modified by seawalls and three unarmored reference beaches with minimal anthropogenic structure in Elliott Bay, Washington. Snorkel surveys at the surface and scuba surveys at the bottom of the water column suggested that seawall armoring affects the species assemblage structures of fish and crabs in intertidal and shallow subtidal areas. Flatfish in particular were negatively impacted by seawall presence and occurred in lower densities at seawall sites than reference beaches. Additionally, all observations of larval fish and black rockfish Sebastes melanops occurred at the reference beach Olympic Sculpture Park. Diet sampling from juvenile Pacific salmon Oncorhynchus spp. captured at these sites suggested that seawall armoring also influences diet composition, especially by reducing benthic and epibenthic prey consumption. These results suggest that seawall armoring can influence the use of nearshore habitats by fish in Puget Sound.