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PECONIC ESTUARY: AN ASSESSMENT OF SHELLFISH RESOURCES IN THE TRIBUTARIES AND EMBAYMENTS OF THE PECONIC ESTUARY
Lewis, D. E. AND G. Rivara. PECONIC ESTUARY: AN ASSESSMENT OF SHELLFISH RESOURCES IN THE TRIBUTARIES AND EMBAYMENTS OF THE PECONIC ESTUARY.
Executive Summary Historically, the Peconic Estuary's shellfish resources have supported significant fisheries for a number of species including hard clams, oysters and bay scallops. However, distribution and abundance data for the tributaries and embayments within the Peconic Estuary is conspicuously absent. The main goal of this survey was to obtain baseline distribution, abundance and size frequency data for commercially important shellfish species and their predators, to be used in the development of resource management strategies for the estuary. This survey was conducted during the summer of 1997 within the tributaries and embayments of the five East End towns that encompass the Peconic Estuary. Methodology duplicated that of the previous Deep Water Survey conducted in 1995 so as to build a comprehensive picture of the entire estuary. Hard clams were found at 75.4% of all stations surveyed and peaked in abundance at 25.33 individuals per 9.29 square meters. The overall abundance for all stations with hard clams present was significantly lower at 4.67 individuals per 9.29 square meters. While hard clam abundance was relatively low, it was higher than that found in the Deep Water Survey. The abundances of bay scallops, oysters, whelks and other commercial species were extremely low. Predator abundances were also low, but reported consumption rates suggest that even low levels of predators can have significant impact on recruitment, and survival. Regions of low hard clam abundance exist in areas that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has classified as open to shellfishing all year. These regions might provide adequate conditions for private and public aquaculture opportunities. A high overall species diversity was found. Thirty four macrofaunal species, a number of which were uncommon or rare, were identified and suggest that the Peconic Estuary supports a unique marine community.
URLs/Downloads:An Assessment of Shelfish Resources in the Tributaries and Embayments of the Peconic Estuary (PDF,NA pp, 2267 KB, about PDF)
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (ASSESSMENT DOCUMENT)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF WATER
OFFICE OF WETLANDS, OCEANS, AND WATERSHEDS
OCEANS AND COASTAL PROTECTION DIVISION