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Reproduction and early life history of ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus) was investigated during April to July in 1993 and 1994 in the St. Louis River, a western Lake Superior tributary. This study was conducted to assist fishery managers in determining possible interactions among the early life history stages of ruffe and other North American percids, and in obtaining information useful in developing control methods targeted at the early life history stages of ruffe. Ruffe had a prolonged spawning period that extended from late April to late June with peak spawning in mid to late May when water temperatures were between 12 and 14 degrees C. The majority of ruffe protolarva were captured 1 to 2 weeks after egg deposition between mid May and late June and most were captured in water 0.5-m deep. Onshore-offshore movements were not observed, but diel vertical movements of larval ruffe were observed on several occasions. The greatest chance of ballast water transport of pelagic larval ruffe is between mid May and July. Information on reproduction and early life history in this report will assist fishery managers in development of ruffe control methods, and assist Great Lakes shipping in ballast water management to prevent the spread of ruffe.
Additional Publication Details
Reproduction and early life history of ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus) on the St. Louis River, a Lake Superior tributary