Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Wildlife and Fisheries Science

First Advisor

David W. Willis


Within two years after triploid grass carp introduction in 2.3 hectare Prior Lake in South Dakota, aquatic vegetation coverage and height in the water column were significantly lower (P<0.005). During the same two year period, triploid grass carp did not significantly reduce aquatic vegetation coverage or height in the water column in 11.4 hectare East Lake Eureka, also in South Dakota. Stocking densities were 49 fish/hectare and 61 fish/hectare (229 mm mean total length) in Prior Lake and East Lake Eureka, respectively. The biomass of prey fish in East Lake Eureka in 1986 was quite high with 88.3, 85.3 and 17.3 kg/hectare for black bullhead (Ictalurus melas), yellow perch (Perea flavescens), and bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), respectively. The biomass of northern pike (Esox lucius) was also high at 13.8 kg/hectare. A Proportional Stock Density (PSD) of 11 and Relative Weight (WK) of 117 indicated a relatively healthy bluegill population in East Lake Eureka. However, the PSD value for black bullheads was lower (8) while their condition was relatively good (K=l.58). The yellow perch population appeared to be over-populated in East Lake Eureka with a PSD of only 5 and a relatively low condition factor (K=l.14). The northern pike population in East Lake Eureka had a PSD value of 53, but a slightly low Wr of 94. Available prey/predator ratio indicated that there was an excess of prey fish for most size classes of predators. Because no significant vegetation reduction occurred in East Lake Eureka, no changes in existing fish populations could be attributed to grass carp introduction or aquatic vegetation reduction. Data gathered on existing fish populations in East Lake Eureka will serve as a pre-treatment data set to be compared to future conditions if aquatic vegetation is reduced. Fish sampling in Prior Lake was greatly reduced due to a winterkill which occurred in the late winter of 1986. Bluegill and largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) were the most abundant fish species found in Prior Lake in 1987. Bluegill appeared to be overpopulated as their PSD value was 1; a high Wr of 109 may have indicated improved conditions immediately following the winterkill. Results for the largemouth bass in Prior Lake were similar with a low PSD (7) and a high w~ (112). Winterkill (Prior Lake) and lack of aquatic vegetation control by grass carp (East Lake Eureka) prohibited making conclusions about the effect of grass carp introduction on the existing fish populations in the two lakes. Further research needs to be conducted in South Dakota to determine appropriate grass carp stocking rates for South Dakota waters, and to evaluate what effect grass carp introduction and aquatic vegetation reduction has on existing fish populations.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Carp fisheries -- South Dakota
Aquatic plants -- South Dakota
Aquatic ecology -- South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references (pages 62-69)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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