Lake herring (Coregonus artedi) and zooplankton samples were simultaneously collected through the ice in the Apostle Islands region of western Lake Superior to provide information on the winter feeding ecology of lake herring. Zooplankton constituted the entire diet of the 38 lake herring collected for this study. We found no evidence of piscivory, although it has been reported by anglers. Diet selectivities were calculated using a Wilcoxon signed-ranks test and showed a preference of lake herring for larger zooplankton, especially Diaptomus sicilis, whereas the smaller copepod, Cyclops bicuspidatus thomasi, and immature copepod stages were selected against. These data document that overwintering copepods are food for a broad size range of lake herring in winter.
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Winter diet of lake herring (Coregonus artedi) in western Lake Superior