Diel and Temporal Habitat Use of Four Juvenile Fishes in a Complex Glacial Lake

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Juvenile fishes may use multiple habitats during early life stages, and habitat use may change based on diel period, temporally, or ontogenetically, with patterns of habitat use being species specific. To better understand habitat use of juvenile fishes, we evaluated relative abundance of juvenile black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus), bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), yellow perch (Perca flavescens), and common carp (Cyprinus carpio) among nearshore open water, emergent vegetation, submergent vegetation, flooded timber, and open water offshore habitats in a glacial lake. In August, catch rates of common carp were highest in emergent vegetation, yellow perch and black crappie catch rates were highest in submergent vegetation, and bluegill catch rates were highest in nearshore open water, submergent vegetation, and flooded timber. In September, submergent vegetation was no longer available due to senescence, and catch rates of all species did not differ among habitats, except for common carp where catch rates were highest in emergent vegetation and flooded timber. Within a species, fishes were generally of similar size among habitats. Abundance of invertebrate prey was highly variable and was generally similar among habitats. Our results provide information about the habitat use of juvenile fishes that can be useful to the management of these species and aquatic habitat conservation.

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Lake and Reservoir Management





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Taylor & Francis