Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean, Coastal, and Earth Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Richard J. Kline

Second Advisor

Dr. David W. Hicks

Third Advisor

Dr. Erin E. Easton


In this study, ROV surveys with multidirectional video were used to analyze the fish communities associated with artificial reef patches in the Rio Grande Valley artificial reef 13.7 km off the coast of South Padre Island, TX. Nine configurations of reef patches consisting of varying combinations and densities of concrete pyramid and low-profile modules were surveyed. The highest species diversity was found at patches with large deployments of both pyramids and low-profile modules. Total Red Snapper Lutjanus campechanus abundance did not differ between configurations, but the highest abundances of juvenile Red Snapper were found at configurations with one pyramid and one low-profile module and at the largest low-profile only sites. Negative correlations between juvenile Red Snapper and both Grey Triggerfish Balistes capriscus and adult Red Snapper were identified. The results of this study indicate that artificial reefs with separate habitat areas composed of 1) large deployments of mid-profile structures for older juvenile and adult Red Snapper and Grey Triggerfish and 2) isolated patches of low-profile habitat or a single mid-profile structure with associated low-profile habitat for small juvenile Red Snapper will be the most effective for fisheries enhancement and supporting diverse fish assemblages.


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