thumbnail

Predation by rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) on lake herring (Coregonus artedii) in western Lake Superior

Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada

Out-of-print
By:
, ,

Links

  • The Publications Warehouse does not have links to digital versions of this publication at this time

Abstract

The stock of lake herring (Coregonus artedii) in the Apostle Islands (Wisconsin) region of western Lake Superior has diminished severely during the past 30 yr, and predation by rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) on herring larvae has been considered a possible cause of this decline. In contrast, the herring stock in Black Bay, 160 km to the northeast, has remained nearly stable despite the presence of large numbers of smelt and high commercial production of herring. Predator-prey interactions were studied in both areas during 1974. Herring larvae and smelt were about 120 and 3 times as dense, respectively, in Black Bay as in the Apostle Islands region. Substantial predation by smelt on young herring was evident in Black Bay, where 17% of 1195 smelt stomachs examined contained herring larvae. From calculations of the relative densities of the two species, and of the daily ration of the predators, we estimated that smelt consumed 3.3-11% of the herring larvae. Nevertheless, the herring stocks have sustained average historical levels of commercial production. In contrast, no herring larvae were found in the stomachs of 1711 smelt collected in the Apostle Islands region. We conclude that predation by smelt on herring larvae is not the major factor controlling or suppressing herring stocks in either region.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Predation by rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) on lake herring (Coregonus artedii) in western Lake Superior
Series title:
Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada
Volume
35
Issue:
11
Year Published:
1978
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Great Lakes Science Center
Description:
p. 1457-1463
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada
First page:
1457
Last page:
1463
Number of Pages:
6