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We used bioenergetic models for lake herring Coregonus artedi, bloater Coregonus hoyi, and rainbow smelt Osmerus mordax to estimate consumption of zooplankton, Mysis, and Diporeia in western Lake Superior for selected years between 1978 and 1995. Total invertebrate biomass consumed yearly ranged from 2.5 to 38 g/mA? with nearly 40% consumed between August and October in all years. Copepod zooplankton represented the largest proportion of biomass collectively consumed by the three species (81%), although rainbow smelt consumed almost twice as much Mysis as zooplankton. Growth efficiency was highest for rainbow smelt (3.84-16.64%) and lower for the coregonids (1.91-12.26%). In the absence of quantitative secondary production values, we suggest our estimates of predatory demand provide a conservative range of the minimum invertebrate production in western Lake Superior during the past 20 years.
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Estimation of invertebrate production from patterns of fish predation in western Lake Superior