Effects of rainfall, recruitment, and the operation of the Cedar Bayou electric generating station (Baytown, Texas) on the dynamics of fish and macrocrustacean communities in the brackish intake and discharge waters.
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The impact of the Cedar Bayou Electric Generating Station upon fishes and macrocrustaceans in the intake area, discharge canal, and cooling lake during 1972-1979 was evaluated. Data used to determine relative abundance, biomass, distribution, species composition, and diversity were collected during 1977-1978 by monthly trawling, trammel-netting, and seining. These data were pooled with data from other similar studies between 1972 and 1979 to evaluate the long-term effects of the power plant. In addition, the simultaneous effects of rainfall, recruitment, and species interaction were assessed. Great year-to-year variation occurred in apparent abundance of dominant species. Variation was correlated with rainfall, conductivity, discharge- canal temperaure, difference in discharge-canal and intake area temperatures (T), recruitment, fish kills, competition, and predation. Moreover, most species or species group were seasonal in occurrence. A trend toward increased abundance of blue crabs, white shrimp, and brown shrimp in the intake area was attributed to reverse flow of Cedar Bayou caused by the power plant and consequent improvement in habitat. Number of fish species seemed to increase in the intake area with time, and Shannon-Weiner diversity, richness, and evenness seemed directly related to conductivity. Richness was related also to season.