Title

Factors Associated with Bluegill Nest Site Selection within a Shallow, Natural Lake

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2013

Abstract

Information regarding nest site selection for bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) is limited. Therefore, our study identified important characteristics of bluegill nest sites in a shallow, natural lake - West Long Lake, Nebraska, USA, on the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge. Bluegill nest colonies were identified visually from a boat and nine abiotic and seven vegetative variables were measured at both nest colony sites and randomly selected sites (i.e., no active bluegill colonies at random sites). Measurements of six variables differed between nest and random sites, suggesting that these variables may be influential in the nest selection process for bluegill. These variables included submersed macrophyte species, submersed macrophyte coverage, distance to nearest submersed macrophytes, water temperature, distance to shore and maximum southern fetch. In contrast to other studies, nest site substrate composition was not different between nesting sites and random sites. Our results indicate that nesting substrate may not be limiting to bluegill in West Long Lake. Rather, other characteristics (e.g., submersed macrophytes and protection from wind) appear to play a larger role in determining bluegill nest site selection in our study lake.

Publication Title

Journal of Freshwater Ecology

Volume

28

Issue

2

First Page

283

Last Page

292

DOI of Published Version

10.1080/02705060.2012.755647

Publisher

Taylor & Francis