Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Earth and Environmental Sciences


Earth and Environmental Sciences

Major Professor

O'Connell, Martin T.

Second Advisor

Thomas, R. Glenn

Third Advisor

Kaller, Michael D.


Bayou St. John (BSJ) and City Park Lakes and Lagoons (CPLL) are urban waterways in New Orleans, Louisiana. I studied habitat selection of red drum in BSJ, and fish assemblage change in BSJ and CPLL over 40 years. Temperature was found to be the best predictor of red drum habitat selection in Bayou St. John, while salinity and change in depth also were found to be good predictors for certain sites. Potential prey item abundance did not appear to influence habitat selection. Using data from 1971 – 2010, nearshore habitats in CPLL were affected by Hurricane Katrina, but have sense recovered and nearshore habitats in BSJ were found to have decreased diversity. Pelagic habitats in both areas were found stable across 40 years. Since 2006, nearshore assemblages were similar for CPLL and BSJ with a decrease in fishes from Order: Cyprinodontiformes and an increase in other fishes seen across years.


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