Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Wildlife and Fisheries Science


Food habits of young-of-the-year largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus), yellow bullhead (Ictalurus natalis), and yellow perch (Perca flavescens) were studied during 1973 and 1974 in Abbey Pond, South Dakota. Organisms found in young-of-the-year fish stomachs and in plankton samples were identified and counted in the laboratory. Zooplankton, aquatic insects and fish were the most important food organisms consumed by young fishes. Using Ivlev’s electivity index food electivity by the fishes for zooplankton was calculated. The size-specific food habits of young-of-the-year largemouth bass progressed from entomostracans to aquatic insects to fish. In most cases zooplanktons were negatively elected for after mid August, 1973, and after the end of July 1974. During the first half of the 1973 summer Chydorus sp. was positively elected for, while during the early summer of 1974, cyclopoid copepods were positively elected. Young-of-the-year bluegill indicated that Chydorus sp. was positively elected and that Bosmina longirostris and Ceriodaphnia sp. were negatively elected. Entomostracans were the dominant food organisms for young black crappie throughout their first summer of life. Young black crappie exhibited positive electivity indices for cyclopoid copepods and negative electivity indices for Bosmina longirostris. Young-of-the-year yellow bullheads fed primarily on small curstaceans and immature insects. Hyalella sp. was a major food organism for young yellow bullheads of all sizes. Young-of-the-year yellow bullheads had positive electivity indices, in most cases, for Chydorus sp. and ostracods and negative indices for Caphnia ambigua, Ceriodaphnia sp. and Bosmina longirostris. Yellow perch young-of-the-year fed primarily on zooplankton and aquatic insects. Utilization of food organism by yellow perch indicated a progression from microcrustaceans to aquatic insects. Young-of-the-year yellow perch had negative electivity indices for Daphmia galeata and D. ambigua and, with one exception, positive indices for Chydorus sp. Larval yellow perch fed almost exclusively on chlamydomonads and rotifers. Larval bluegill utilized cladocerans, copepods, rotifers, and chlamydomonads as food. Analysis of species food habits did not indicate niche segregation. The degree of overlapping food habits existing in Abbey Pond may be an important protection against overpopulation and may result in a more stable fish population.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Blue Cloud Abbey Pond (Marvin, S. D.)


Includes bibliographical references (pages 63-65)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University