Potential Regulation of Age-0 Gizzard Shad by Hybrid Striped Bass in Ohio Reservoirs
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Citation:Dettmers, John M.; Stein, Roy A.; Lewis, Edward M. "Potential Regulation of Age-0 Gizzard Shad by Hybrid Striped Bass in Ohio Reservoirs," Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, v. 127, no. 1, 1998, pp. 84-94.
Piscivores can control prey populations in north temperate lakes, leading to increased zooplankton and reduced phytoplankton. In reservoirs with gizzard shad Dorosoma cepedianum, an omnivorous planktivore, this cascade occurs with lower probability because while this fish is shorter than 60 mm in total length (TL) it readily consumes zooplankton but also switches to phytoplankton and detritus. Prospects for gizzard shad control probably hinge on piscivore consumption of age-0 individuals. Hence, we quantified capture efficiency of hybrids of striped bass Morone saxatilis × white bass M. chrysops (small: 190–250 mm, TL; large: 310–360 mm, TL) when combined with three gizzard shad size-groups (of five possible, ranging 40–120 mm) in a 500-L aquarium. Small hybrid striped bass selected 40-mm gizzard shad but preferred neither 60-mm nor 80-mm prey. Large hybrid striped bass demonstrated no selection for 40–120-mm gizzard shad. We incorporated these data into a bioenergetics model to evaluate whether hybrid striped bass could sufficiently reduce abundance of age-0 gizzard shad in Ohio reservoirs to permit increased zooplankton, thereby improving the potential for resident sport fish recruitment in reservoirs. Hybrid striped bass potentially increased larval sport fish occurrence only when they were stocked at high densities (≥350 fish/ha or ≥22 kg/ha) coupled with age-0 gizzard shad suffering low natural mortality and occurring at an intermediate peak density of 25 fish/m3 or less. We believe gizzard shad are largely immune to control by hybrid striped bass in Ohio reservoirs. Hence, managers must consider combining watershed management with predator stocking to regulate gizzard shad.
This work was funded by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration projects F-57-R and F-69-P, which were administered jointly by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the ODW, and by National Science Foundation grants DEB-9107173 and DEB-9407859 to R.A.S.
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