Evaluation of Rock Relocation to Enhance Degraded Sportfish Habitat in the Apalachicola River, Florida

Placement of dredged rock material (90% < 5 cm in diameter) on degraded sand disposal sites in the Apalachicola River, Florida, to enhance sportfish populations was evaluated between July 1988 and November 1989. Newly created rock habitats and training dikes yielded significantly greater (P < 0.05) sportfish catch per unit effort (CPUE) than did sand disposal sites. Water velocity, rock size, water depth, and site orientation with respect to river flow were more important in determining sportfish abundance than rock site configuration. Mean macroinvertebrate densities and number of taxa collected at rock relocation sites were greater than values previously reported for sand disposal sites.

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