Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Richard Kline

Second Advisor

Dr. Heather D. Alexander

Third Advisor

Dr. Carlos Cintra-Buenrostro


Hydroacoustic methods can be used to answer a variety of questions regarding fish populations and behavior. In this study, side scan sonar methodology was developed to quantify abundance and biomass and compared to established visual observation methods on SCUBA over artificial reef structures in the western Gulf of Mexico. Side scan sonar methods were equivalent to SCUBA surveys for measuring fish abundance over the same reef areas, however, abundances were significantly higher when the larger area sampled by side scan was utilized. Side scan sonar methods were also more time efficient than SCUBA, ROV and long line fishing methods (66.7%, 33.3%, 25.9% respectively). In addition, side scan methods allowed biomass and fish size class categories to be estimated over reef sites. Side scan methods allowed five reef sites to be surveyed in one day, demonstrating the capability for macro scale comparisons of fish abundance, biomass and behavior among sites.


Copyright 2015 Michael A. Bollinger. All Rights Reserved.

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