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Tuesday, January 30 • 11:20am - 11:40am
WALLEYE & PERCH: Variability in Spatial Distribution of Larval Yellow Perch in a Northern Lake Ecosystem

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AUTHORS. Steve Hauschildt, Bemidji State University; Dr. Andrew W. Hafs, Bemidji State University

ABSTRACT. The success of many game-fish species can depend on larval Yellow Perch Perca flavescens for forage in northern lake systems. Year class strength estimation using larval tows, is often unreliable, or has the potential to include large amounts of variation. To better understand larval Yellow Perch densities, the objectives of this study were to measure the variation in the spatial distribution of larval Yellow Perch on Blackduck Lake in northern Minnesota, and then determine if wind is a significant source of variation. Tows were performed with a neuston net in a random pattern across the towable area of Blackduck Lake, Minnesota. Sixty tows were taken every two days over a two-week period. All fish were counted, and total length was measured for up to 30 fish from each tow. The number of fish at each location was used to create GIS maps through interpolation techniques to demonstrate larval Yellow Perch spatial distribution. Relationships between the variability depicted in our spatial distribution maps and wind characteristics should help managers increase confidence in estimates of year class strength done via neuston tows.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:20am - 11:40am CST