This experiment was conducted to assess the true value of artificial reefs, which are installed to improve the abundance of sportfish and thereby improve fishing opportunities.
Site Selection Criteria:
Artificial reef sites were selected in flat, sandy areas where fishing for sport fishes such as kelp bass, sand bass, and sheephead was generally poor. Reef sites were chosen between 50 and 60 feet, as these depths were considered suitable for the target fish species and within the optimum range for giant kelp plants which would further enhance the value of artificial habitat.
Cause Of Decline:
Macrocystis pyrifera beds along the southern California coast were relatively stable prior to 1940. Declines were first reported in 1945 in areas nearest major sewage outfalls. This deterioration progressively affected beds at increasing distances from the outfalls, leaving small patches. Deterioration of kelp accelerated when an influx of warm oceanic water persisted off California from 1957-1959.