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Trap Survey on Two Artificial Reefs


April 13, 2016

Scientists from the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife have teamed up with researchers from Rutgers University in a DEP-funded study to conduct a trap survey of the Little Egg and Sea Girt artificial reefs. Between March and November, 22 individual fish traps, identified at the surface with red buoys, are being deployed on each reef location.

The objectives of the trap survey focus on characterizing the seasonal and spatial changes in reef community composition and relative abundance of structure-associated species. The survey focuses on several species of great recreational and commercial importance, including black sea bass, tautog (blackfish), and lobster, but will also provide helpful data on other commercially-important species occurring on the reefs.

Results from the project will be valuable for improving our ecological understanding of New Jersey's artificial reefs, which will be useful for consideration in the development of fishery management plans and informing ongoing projects as part of the artificial reef program. For more information regarding the survey please contact Rutgers researchers Dr. Douglas Zemeckis at (, Dr. Olaf Jensen (; 410-812-4842), or Bureau of Marine Fisheries biologist Peter Clarke (609-748-2020).

For information on New Jersey's artificial reef program, including reef locations, visit

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Department of Environmental Protection
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Last Updated: April 13, 2016