Dredged Material Disposal Impact on Habitat Quality and Gamefish Populations of the Apalachicola River

Within-bank disposal of dredged material has detrimentally impacted natural habitats and gamefish of the Apalachicola River. Between 1947 and 1980 40 km of natural bank habitat has been altered by disposal of dredged material resulting from navigational maintenance activities by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Gamefish catch per unit of effort (CPUE) values from natural bank habitats were significantly greater (P < .05) than those from "new," "recent," and "old" disposal sites. Gamefish CPUE values measured on "new," "recent," and "old" disposal sites were 75%,66%, and 50% less than gamefish CPUE values on natural bank habitats.

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