Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences

Alternative non-estuarine nursery habitats for some commercially and recreationally important fish species of south-western Australia

RCJ Lenanton

Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 33(5) 881 - 900
Published: 1982


The distribution and relative abundance of the 0 + year classes of 16 commercially and recreationally important fish species from the inshore marine and estuarine waters of south-western Australia were investigated. The results of this study, together with data obtained from an investigation of the way in which juvenile fish used the Blackwood River estuary (Lenanton 1977), revealed that only three of these species in this region could be exclusively regarded as estuarine-dependent: two of the species entered the estuary for the entire year and the third was a seasonal migrant. The remaining 13 species all made use of at least 30% of the inshore marine environment sampled during the study, which was equivalent to the total area of nursery habitat available in the Blackwood River estuary. The main conclusion of this study is that for these species, the inshore marine environments of south-western Australia provide otherwise unavailable alternative nursery areas to those traditionally found in estuaries.

© CSIRO 1982

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