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Wednesday, January 31 • 8:20am - 8:40am
STREAMS, DAMS & RESERVOIRS: A Holistic Approach of Characterizing Age and Growth of Bluegill and Redear Sunfish in Small Impoundments

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AUTHORS. Connor J. Chance-Ossowski, Ben C. Neely, Jeff D. Koch - Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism

ABSTRACT. Bluegill Lepomis macrochirus and Redear Sunfish L. microlophus were sampled with autumn electrofishing (i.e., August-October) and otoliths were aged from 33 small impoundments in Kansas. Otoliths of Bluegill and Redear Sunfish were independently read by three readers and a consensus age was derived for each individual fish. Mean back-calculated lengths at age by year-class were produced for each study impoundment. Biological, chemical, and physical parameters were collected at each impoundment and compared to infer explanatory factors that influence the age, growth, and survival of Bluegill and Redear Sunfish. Implicating factors included relative abundance and condition of predator and forage species present, water quality indices (i.e., water temperature, secchi, conductivity), and littoral habitat classification (i.e., macrophyte biomass, bottom hardness, and aquatic plant species occurrence). Our results will provide a better understanding of population metrics of Bluegill and Redear Sunfish in Kansas, as well as a robust age and growth dataset to inform potential panfish management in the future. 

Wednesday January 31, 2018 8:20am - 8:40am CST