A seining survey of the fish fauna of the beach zone in the James River, Virginia, was conducted from July to December 1977. Weekly collections were made at 4 stations resulting in the capture of 17,602 individuals representing 36 species. Abundance and diversity were influenced by large catches ofschooling and migratory species utilizing nearshore areas as a nursery ground. Freshwater species diversity peaked in August and September, while mesohaline species diversity peaked in July, September, and November. Cluster analysis was used to define 3 freshwater station groups representing warm, moderate, and cool water temperatures, but was not helpful in analyzing mesohaline stations.