In western Lake Erie in the summer and fall of 1975-1976, food eaten by seven forage fishes - emerald shiner (Notropis atherinoides), spottail shiner (Notropis hudsonius), trout-perch (Percopsis omiscomaycus), and young-of-the-year (YOY) of alewife (Alosa psuedoharengus), gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum), white bass (Morone chrysops), and freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens) - was divided among six major taxa: Cladocera, Copepoda, Diptera, Ostracoda, Amphipoda, and Algae. In addition, fish were eaten by YOY white bass, and Rotifera were consumed by YOY gizzard shad. Interspecies diet overlap indices, calculated to compare the food of the different species and to evaluate diet similarities, were usually highest for YOY white bass and YOY freshwater drum when compared with the other species and usually lowest between emerald shiners and all other forage fishes. Understanding the feeding interactions among fishes that could influence production at the forage-food level of the food web could provide insight into how cascading trophic interactions influence the production of piscivorous predators.
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Food of forage fishes in western Lake Erie, 1975-76