Comparative utilization of shallow water habitats at Galveston, Texas by immature marine fish.
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A total of 23,174 predominantly immature fish representing 82 taxa were collected with a Renfro beam trawl during 22 January 1979 through 21 August 1980 in three shallow water habitats on Galveston Island - a beach, tideflat, and saltmarsh. The three most abundant species were gulf menhaden (Brevoortia patronus), bay anchovy ( Anchoa mitchilli), and spot (Leiostomus xanthurus). Distinct diel, station and seasonal variations in community parameters and individual taxa abundance and size classes were observed. Monthly variations in total catch, number of species, and species diversity were primarily influenced by seasonal recruitment of dominant taxa. Shallow water habitats were dominated by offshore spawned larval and juvenile gulf menhaden, spot, and Atlantic croaker (Micropogon undulatus) during late fall and winter. Bay anchovy, naked goby (Gobiosoma bosci), and sand seatrout (Cynoscion arenarius) dominated late spring and summer communities. Highest total number of species was collected during summer, whereas highest number of individuals was generally collected in winter and spring. Monthly Shannon-Weaver diversity indices varied erratically.