Growth and condition of bluegills epomis macrochirusfrom five acidic lakes (pH 5.1-6.0) and six circumneutral lakes (pH 6.7-7.5) in northern Wisconsin were compared. Although mean condition factors and mean back-calculated total lengths at ages 1 to 4 varied significantly among lakes, the differences were not related to lake pH. Rather, the ranks of mean condition factors and back-calculated lengths at ages 2, 3, and 4 were negatively correlated with relative density of bluegills among the lakes. Because of the dominating effect of density, growth rates and condition factors are not useful as indicators of chronic, pH-related stress on bluegill populations.
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Growth and condition of bluegills in Wisconsin lakes: effects of population density and lake pH