Volume 69

Five-year Colonization Dynamics of Fish Populations at the Texas Clipper Artificial Reef, Northwestern Gulf of Mexico

Hicks, D., C.E. Cintra-Buenrostro, R. Kline, J.D. Shively, and J. B. Shipley
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Date: November, 2016

Pages: 191 - 192

Event: Proceedings of the Sixty eigth Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Grand Cayman

Country: Cayman Islands


Artificial reefs are a coastal management tool used to enhance local fisheries to the benefit of recreational fishers and recreational divers (Bohnsack 1991, Baine 2001, Svane and Petersen 2001, Broughton 2012). Upon approval of the Artificial Reef Act of 1989 by the Texas legislature, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) began promoting, developing, maintaining, monitoring, and enhancing artificial reef potential in state and federal waters adjacent to Texas (Stephan et al. 1990). Since that time, three major programs: Rigs-to-Reefs, Ships-to-Reefs, and the Nearshore Reefing have been initiated to deploy materials at over 86 sites covering approximately 2,800 hectares along the Texas coast consisting of 16 ships, 150 petroleum platforms, and thousands of individual pieces of concrete material. The purpose of this study was to document fish recruitment and population dynamics during the first five years at the site of the USTS Texas Clipper (Texas Clipper hereafter) reefed on November 17, 2007, 17 nm (31.5 km) offshore of South Padre Island, Texas, USA in the Gulf of Mexico (26.18°N, 96.98°W) at a regional depth of 40.8 m and a clearance depth of 18.9 m. At 145 m long and 22 m wide, the Texas Clipper is the United States’ fourth-largest ship sunk for the purpose of creating an artificial reef (Figure 1).

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