The daytime abundance and localized distribution of fishes in relation to temperature were studied in a small tidal cove by beach seining on seven dates in the Back River estuary, Maine, during the summers of 1971 and 1972. Temperatures on the seven dates ranged from 15.1–26.2 C, and salinities ranged from 17.3–24.7‰. Eighteen species of fishes were captured, with mummichogs, smooth flounders, Atlantic silversides and Atlantic herring together comprising over 98% of the catch. Mummichogs and Atlantic silversides were captured primarily near the inner end of the cove, while other abundant species were caught mainly at the outer end of the cove. Several species seem well adapted to naturally warm cove temperatures. Others seem now virtually excluded because of warm temperatures. Winter flounder, Atlantic herring, and Atlantic tomcod might be excluded from the cove during daytime in summer if artificial warming of the cove were permitted.
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