Oyster Reef Biodiversity

October 13, 2016

The past two field seasons NY/NJ Baykeeper has been conducting a biodiversity study of our 1/4 acre reef. Three different fish trap treatments are used to assess the species in and around the reef. Traps are designed to mimic no reef (empty), some habitat but not a living reef (clam shell only), and oyster reef (clumps of spat on shell). Traps are left out for 24 hours and are then retrieved and processed., making sure all animals are returned to the water. Data suggest that species, especially fish, prefer the treatment containing spat on shell. Many different species have been found in the study area including adult and juvenile fish such as black sea bass, tautog, American eel, and oyster toadfish. Blue claw crabs, spider crabs, mud crabs, hermit crabs, whelk species, shrimp, barnacles, encrusting and fouling organisms, and red beard sponge are also common.

Meredith Comi

Restoration Program Director

NY/NJ Baykeeper