Does Vessel Noise Change the Calling Rate and Intensity of Soniferous Fishes?
Fishes of the family Sciaenidae (drums and croakers) are well-known for their abilities to produce sounds using both sonic muscles and the swim bladder (Luczkovich et al. 2008a, b; Rountree et al. 2006; Sprague and Luczkovich 2004). Calls of sciaenid fishes like Micropogonias undulatus (Atlantic croaker) can be heard with hydrophones throughout the day, producing sounds when disturbed, during aggression, and during spawning (male advertisement calls). In this study, we examined if the noise associated with coastal vessels (ferry boats and tugboats) that operated daily during the early morning through early evening had any effect on the seasonal and daily calling rate of Micropogonias undulatus.