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Wednesday, January 31 • 10:40am - 11:00am
STREAMS, DAMS & RESERVOIRS: Seasonal Food Habits, Prey Taxa and Size Selectivity, and Diet Overlap of age-0 White Bass and Walleye

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AUTHORS. Brett Miller, University of Nebraska at Kearney; Keith Koupal, Nebraska Game and Parks; Casey Schoenebeck, University of Nebraska and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Understanding age-0 White Bass Morone chyrsops and Walleye Sander vitreus food habits, prey taxa and size selectivity, and diet overlap provides necessary early life history information. We documented these prey selection characteristics of age-0 White Bass collected during 2015 and 2016 and age-0 Walleye during 2016 in a Nebraska irrigation reservoir. Fish were sampled from 6 standardized sites using bag seines, boat electrofishing, and small-mesh gill nets and zooplankton were sampled from 15 standardized sites using an 80µm plankton net from July-September. Age-0 White Bass (n =300) consumed Diptera spp., Gizzard Shad Dorosoma cepedianum, various insect orders, and zooplankton species while age-0 Walleye (n =79) consumed primarily Calanoida before shifting to Gizzard Shad. Age-0 White Bass and Walleye displayed similar trends with positive selection of Calanoida and negative selection of copepod nauplii. Age-0 White Bass selected larger calanoid copepods during each month and year evaluated and age-0 Walleye selected larger calanoid copepods during July. High diet overlap by caloric density was documented during August and September as age-0 White Bass and Walleye were both consuming Gizzard Shad. Results from this study identify that age-0 White Bass and Walleye share similar prey taxa, target larger zooplankton from the environment and have high dietary overlap indicating that prey has the potential to be a limiting factor.

Wednesday January 31, 2018 10:40am - 11:00am CST