Fish community assessments are often based on sampling with multiple gear types. However, multivariate methods used to assess fish community structure and composition are sensitive to differences in the relative scale of indices or measures of abundance produced by different sampling methods. This makes combining data from different sampling gears and methods a serious challenge. We developed a method of combining catch per unit effort data that standardizes catch per unit effort data across gear types, which we call multigear mean standardization (MGMS). We evaluated how well MGMS and other types of standardization reflect underlying community structure through a computer simulation that generated model riverine-fish communities and simulated sampling data for two gears. In these simulations, combining sampling observations from two gears with MGMS produced community structure estimates that were highly correlated with true community structure under a variety of conditions that are common in large rivers. Our simulation results indicate that the use of MGMS to combine data from different sampling gears is an effective data manipulation method for the analysis of fish community structure.