• Fish Assemblages in Brunsen Creek on St. Catherines Island, GA

      Sapp, Mikael; Ong, Claudia; McKittrick, Jacob; Moak, Jason; Department of Biological Sciences (2016-03)
      St. Catherines Island, in Liberty County, is one of Georgia’s uninhabited barrier islands. Due to its location approximately seven miles from the mainland and thirty miles from the Savannah River, the surrounding estuary has seen negligible anthropogenic impacts throughout its history. Specifically, Brunsen Creek, on its southern end, is considered to contain a pristine marine ecosystem. This study was initiated to provide baseline data for the surrounding Georgia estuarine ecosystems, many of which have had human impacts. Ichthyofaunal data was collected monthly within Brunsen Creek via trawling from September 2014 through August 2015, and will continue for the immediate future. Fishes collected show consistent relationships in natural migration and reproduction that have also been noted in other studies. Temporal trends in the appearance of fishes in Brunsen Creek samples, and their increasing lengths, reflect a well-established natural pattern along Georgia’s coast. Tracking these trends will provide a baseline of expected life history events for several species and a reference for further research within southeastern estuaries. Funding Source: Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship, Department of Biological Sciences and Museum of National History