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Little is known about the distribution, movement, and home ranges of bluegills Lepomis macrochirus in lentic environments. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to evaluate the seasonal and diel differences in movement rates, site fidelity, and home range of bluegills in a shallow, natural Great Plains lake. A total of 78 bluegills (200-273 mm total length) were implanted with radio transmitters in March and May 2000. Of these fish, 10 males and 10 females were randomly selected and located every 2 h during one 24-h period each month from April to September 2000. Bluegill movement peaked during midsummer: however, there was little difference in diel movements, suggesting relatively consistent movement throughout...
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Habitat use by bluegill Lepomis macrochirus may be dictated by the avoidance of predators and the availability of prey. Previous work suggests that bluegills large enough to avoid predators will select habitats based on foraging profitability. However, these studies focused on smaller fish (<150 mm standard length) in laboratory experiments or in natural systems with distinct vegetated and open-water habitats. Our objective was to use radio telemetry to determine monthly and diel vegetation selection by larger (>200 mm total length [TL]) bluegills in a shallow (mean depth = 1.2 m), 332-ha, natural lake (Pelican Lake, Nebraska) with both emergent and submergent vegetation distributed throughout. A total of 78 bluegills...
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The gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) was introduced into 1,955-ha Angostura Reservoir, South Dakota to provide increased prey resources for walleye (Sander vitreus). Linear correlation analysis indicated that following gizzard shad introduction, walleye catch-per-unit-effort and mean length at age have increased over time (r = 0.68 to 0.85, P = 0.02 to 0.001). Walleye stomach contents were collected monthly from April through September, 2004 to determine the extent to which age-0 gizzard shad were being utilized as prey during the growing season. Age-0 gizzard shad were absent from walleye diets from April to mid-July (pre-shad-available period); however, from mid-July through early September (shad-available period),...
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Fisheries managers throughout the Prairie Pothole Region of Minnesota often use semi-permanent and permanent wetland basins to extensively culture walleye Sander vitreus fry. Waterfowl managers have expressed concern over this practice because of the potential influence that fish have on food resources used by waterfowl during development and migration. It is well known that native fathead minnows Pimephales promelas can have detrimental effects on macroinvertebrates, zooplankton, water clarity, epiphyton, and macrophytes in wetlands. Because walleye commonly become piscivorous as soon as mouth gape allows, walleye fry may suppress fathead minnow populations and improve wetland conditions for waterfowl. In this...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology of Freshwater Fish
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We explored relationships among black bullhead (Ameiurus melas) population characteristics and physicochemical attributes in shallow lakes and quantified relationships between population characteristics of black bullhead and sport fishes. Lake characteristics and fisheries survey data were collected from the Sandhills region of northcentral Nebraska from May through June, 1998 and 1999. Relative abundance of black bullheads was inversely related to proportional stock density (r=-0.672, df=15, P=0.004); however, neither relative weight nor growth was significantly (P ??? 0.20) related to black bullhead relative abundance. Population characteristics of common panfish species such as bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus),...
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We estimated the influence of predation by Smallmouth Bass Micropterus dolomieu on recruitment of age-0 Yellow Perch Perca flavescens in two northeastern South Dakota glacial lakes. We estimated a likely range in consumption of age-0 Yellow Perch using Smallmouth Bass diet information from two time periods when age-0 Yellow Perch constituted high (2008) and low (2012 and 2013) proportions of Smallmouth Bass diets, and bass population size estimates as inputs in a bioenergetics model. The proportion of age-0 Yellow Perch consumed by the Smallmouth Bass populations was determined by comparing estimates of consumption with estimates of age-0 perch production. During 2008, age-0 Yellow Perch constituted between 0% and...
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Northern pike (Esox lucius) was first documented in West Long Lake, Nebraska, in 1998 when two pike <380 mm were collected. In 2002, a Peterson mark-recapture population estimate on northern pike revealed density and standing stock (i.e., biomass) estimates of 35.8 fish/ha (95% CI= ?? 8.8) and 22.0 kg/ha (95% CI= ?? 5.4), respectively. Consequently, West Long Lake was sampled in 2002 to compare relative abundance, size structure, and growth of bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), and yellow perch (Perca flavescens) prior to and after the establishment of a high-density northern pike population. Bluegill, largemouth bass, and yellow perch relative abundances were significantly...
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Quantified were the age, growth, mortality and reproductive structure of lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) collected in the US and Canadian waters of the Namakan Reservoir. The hypotheses were tested that (i) age and growth of lake sturgeon in the Namakan Reservoir would differ by sex and reproductive stage of maturity, and (ii) that the relative strength of year-classes of lake sturgeon in the reservoir would be affected by environmental variables. To quantify age, growth and mortality of the population, existing data was used from a multi-agency database containing information on all lake sturgeon sampled in the reservoir from 2004 to 2009. Lake sturgeon were sampled in the Minnesota and Ontario waters of the...
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We assessed the precision of visual estimates of vegetation and substrate along transects in 15 shallow, natural Nebraska lakes. Vegetation type (submergent or emergent), vegetation density (sparse, moderate, or dense), and substrate composition (percentage sand, muck, and clay; to the nearest 10%) were estimated at 25-70 sampling sites per lake by two independent observers. Observer agreement for vegetation type was 92%. Agreement ranged from 62.5% to 90.1% for substrate composition. Agreement was also high (72%) for vegetation density estimates. The relatively high agreement between estimates was likely attributable to the homogeneity of the lake habitats. Nearly 90% of the substrate sites were classified as 0%...
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Northern pike Esox lucius were sampled in Nebraska's Sandhill lakes during 1998 and 1999 to determine population characteristics and their influence on the fish community in these shallow, warm lakes at the southwestern edge of this species' natural range. Density-dependent growth, size structure, and condition were not evident in the northern pike populations sampled. Relative abundance of largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides was positively related to size structure of yellow perch Perca flavescens and bluegills Lepomis macrochirus when northen pike were absent. When northern pike and largemouth bass populations were sympatric, these relationships were less evident. Population size structure of yellow perch was...
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Rainy Lake contains a native population of lake sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens that has been largely unstudied. The aims of this study were to document the population characteristics of lake sturgeon in Rainy Lake and to relate environmental factors to year-class strength for this population. Gill-netting efforts throughout the study resulted in the capture of 322 lake sturgeon, including 50 recaptures. Lake sturgeon in Rainy Lake was relatively plump and fast growing compared with a 32-population summary. Population samples were dominated by lake sturgeon between 110 and 150 cm total length. Age–structure analysis of the samples indicated few younger (<10 years) lake sturgeon, but the smallest gill net mesh size...
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Rainy Lake, Minnesota-Ontario, contains a native population of Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) that has gone largely unstudied. The objective of this descriptive study was to summarize generalized Lake Sturgeon movement patterns through the use of biotelemetry. Telemetry data reinforced the high utilization of the Squirrel Falls geographic location by Lake Sturgeon, with 37% of the re-locations occurring in that area. Other spring aggregations occurred in areas associated with Kettle Falls, the Pipestone River, and the Rat River, which could indicate spawning activity. Movement of Lake Sturgeon between the Seine River and the South Arm of Rainy Lake indicates the likelihood of one integrated population on the...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Canadian Field-Naturalist
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We sampled zooplankton and benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages in 30 shallow natural lakes to determine the effects of the environment (i.e., habitat and fish abundance) on invertebrates. Zooplankters were identified to genus, and up to 120 individuals per genus were measured. Macroinvertebrates were identified to order, class, or family. Fish communities were also sampled. Relative abundances of zooplankton and macroinvertebrates were low at increased chlorophyll a concentrations, although mean zooplankton length increased with total phosphorus, possibly because of an increased proportion of microzooplankton (rotifers and copepod nauplii) at higher phosphorus levels. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed...
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Bluegill Lepomis macrochirus populations in 18 Nebraska Sandhill lakes were evaluated to determine if a 200-mm minimum length limit would increase population size structure. Bluegills were trap-netted in May and June 1998 and 1999, and a creel survey was conducted during winter 1998-2001 on one or two lakes where bluegills had been tagged to determine angler exploitation. Thirty-three percent of anglers on one creeled lake were trophy anglers (i.e., fishing for large [???250 mm] bluegills), whereas 67% were there to harvest fish to eat. Exploitation was always less than 10% and the total annual mortality averaged 40% across all 18 lakes. The time to reach 200 mm ranged from 4.3 to 8.3 years. The relative stock density...
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The range of smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) is expanding northward, creating new interactions with native predators, including walleye (Sander vitreus). We used a series of experiments to investigate competition between walleye (WAE) and smallmouth bass (SMB) at different life stages and light conditions, identified behaviors that allowed one fish to outcompete another, and evaluated whether prey switching mitigated competitive interactions. Juvenile and adult SMB appeared to outcompete WAE when fed during the daytime; neither species dominated when fed near dusk. Attack rates and capture efficiencies of both species were similar with an intra- or interspecific competitor, but SMB often exploited prey before...