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I assessed the population dynamics of fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) in prairie wetlands and developed a bioenergetics model to estimate their production and prey consumption. I sampled populations in four wetlands weekly from late May through June and biweekly during July and August using a Kushlan 1-m2 throw trap. I imposed commercial harvest on two populations; the other two populations served as controls. Weekly population density estimates ranged from 52 000 to 356 000??ha-1 during early June and from 5400 to 19 700??ha-1 in late August. Simulated commercial harvest did not influence population density, mortality rates, or size of fathead minnows. Standing stock biomass differed among wetlands sampled, ranging from 144 to 482 kg??ha-1 in early June and from 1 to 33 kg??ha-1 during late August. However, differences were attributed to differential predation pressure rather than harvest pressure. Net production during the period ranged from 71.5 to 202.7 kg??ha-1. Daily net production was greatest in early June (2.6-13.5 kg??ha-1??day-1) and then declined during July and August (0.1-1.2 kg??ha-1??day-1). Total mass of prey consumed by fathead minnows ranged from 332.7-1104.8 kg??ha-1 among wetlands.
Additional Publication Details
Population dynamics, production, and prey consumption of fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) in prairie wetlands: A bioenergetics approach
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences