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Use of fish-otolith-length regressions to infer size of double-crested cormorant prey fish from recovered otoliths in Lake Ontario

Northeastern Naturalist

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Abstract

To provide a method for estimating fish size from fish otoliths for forensic applications or other predictive uses, morphometric measurements were obtained from three centrarchid fishes (pumpkinseed [Lepomis gibbosus], rock bass [Ambloplites rupestris], and smallmouth bass [Micropterus dolomieu]), two percids (yellow perch [Perca flavescens] and walleye [Stizostedion vitreum]), and one clupeid (alewife [Alosa pseudoharengus]) from the eastern basin of Lake Ontario. These species are the principal or economically important prey of Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus), whose diet can be determined from regurgitated digestive pellets containing fish otoliths. A fuller understanding of the ecosystem roles of cormorants requires estimation of prey-fish size, obtainable from regressions of otolith length on fish length. Up to 100 fish of each species were collected from eastern Lake Ontario and measured for total length and otolith length. Least-squares regressions of otolith length on fish length were calculated for all species, covering life-stage ranges of immature fish to large adults near maximum known size. The regressions with 95% confidence intervals may be applicable outside the Lake Ontario ecosystem if used with caution.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Use of fish-otolith-length regressions to infer size of double-crested cormorant prey fish from recovered otoliths in Lake Ontario
Series title:
Northeastern Naturalist
Volume
12
Issue:
2
Year Published:
2005
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Great Lakes Science Center
Description:
p. 133-140
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Northeastern Naturalist
First page:
133
Last page:
140
Number of Pages:
7