Food of White Perch (Morone americana) and Potential for Competition with Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens) in Lake Erie
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Citation:The Ohio Journal of Science. v86, n1 (March, 1986), 26-29
The white perch (Morone americana) is an east coast estuarine species that invaded Lake Erie in the 1950s, but did not increase in abundance until the mid 1970s. We studied the food of white perch in the Sandusky Bay area of western Lake Erie in 1981 and 1982 to assess potential for interactions with yellow perch. Based on volumetric displacement of individual food taxa, diets of white perch were similar to those of yellow perch, overlapping broadly in June and July 1981, when both species ate cladocerans and chironomids. Overlap declined in August 1981 when white perch began feeding on young-of-the-year gizzard shad, which were not generally eaten by yellow perch. Because food is limiting growth of yellow perch in western Lake Erie, if white perch continue to proliferate and share food with yellow perch, then competition could influence growth rates of yellow perch and thus could play an important role in attempting to manage the yellow perch fishery.
Author Institution: Ohio Cooperative Fishery Research Unit
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