East Kleinemonde estuary

Red roman Fish tagging team A recaptured, tagged fish
082 TAG FISH Just before releasing a tagged white steenbras Tsitsikamma National Park

The East Kleinemonde estuary is a small intermittently open estuary on the Eastern Cape coast. Predation and estuary mouth conditions are thought to be the main factors affecting the abundance of individual fish species.

We have been sampling this estuary every summer and winter since 1993. Estuary mouth conditions are logged daily and water temperatures are logged continuously. Over the past two years this estuary has also been the focus of a multidisciplinary study. In 2008 we initiated a stable isotope study on the estuarine food web under a macrophyte senescent phase. This will be compared to that of the neighbouring West Kleinemonde Estuary, which is currently experiencing a macrophyte dominated phase. As well as yielding the best long-term monitoring database of an estuarine fish assemblage, this monitoring programme has improved our understanding of:

  • temporal fish variability in temporarily open/closed estuaries;
  • the factors influencing this variability.