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Tuesday, January 30 • 9:20am - 9:40am
WALLEYE & PERCH: Habitat Use, Diet and Growth Rate Analysis of Walleye and Yellow Perch in Green Bay Coastal Wetlands, Lake Michigan

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AUTHORS. Jeremiah Shrovnal, Patrick Forsythe, PhD, Christopher Houghton, PhD, Collin Moratz - UW-Green Bay

ABSTRACT. Currently there is little information regarding the use of nearshore and wetland habitats by transient sportfish species in Green Bay.  It is expected that these fish preferentially choose habitats to maximize growth and fitness.  We assessed differences in growth, diet, tissue isotopic ratios, and otolith microchemistry of walleye (Sander vitreus) and yellow perch (Perca flavescens) using fish collected at seven sites throughout the upper and lower bay.  Nearshore and wetland habitats were sampled at each site in 2014 and 2015 using gillnets, fyke nets, and electroshocking.  Growth rates were determined using sagittal otoliths collected from fish at each site and location.  Stomachs were dissected and tissue samples were analyzed for nitrogen (d15N) and carbon (d13C) ratios to compare food web structure among locations.  Otolith microchemistry results were compared with water chemistry results at each sampling location and used to determine migratory preferences within each sample site.  Preliminary results show differences between habitats and among sites in walleye and yellow perch life histories.  These data will be useful to quantify the importance of wetland and nearshore habitats to Green Bay’s walleye and yellow perch.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:20am - 9:40am CST