Abstract Juvenile spot (Pisces) make visible pits when they feed. Meiofaunal abundance in pit and no-pit areas was not different when sampled at low tide after the fish had fed. Meiofauna recolonized simulated spot pits within 1·5 h; thus abundance of meiofauna in natural pits sampled at low tide cannot be used to estimate predation removal. In areas where they feed, the fish bioturbate about 1% of the surface sediment per day and occupy the estuary for four months. Each square meter of prime fish-feeding habitat is turned over to a depth of 2 mm during the time the fish are in residence.