The reintroduction of anadromous alewives, Alosa pseudoharengus, to their historic habitats in the inland waters of the United States and Canada, has prompted concerns about possible interactions with a popular sport fish, white perch, Morone americana. Both species are now widely distributed in northeastern North America. Diets of white perch in Lake George, Maine, U.S.A., where alewives were absent, were monitored and compared with those of white perch populations that were sympatric with anadromous alewives in two coastal Maine lakes, Biscay Pond and North Pond. In the presence of introduced alewives, the diet of adult white perch became almost exclusively juvenile alewives by late summer in ponds where both species were present. White perch that were sympatric with alewives were more piscivorus than were Lake George white perch, which primarily consumed Cladocera. Not only were alewives the principal prey item in the diet of white perch in Biscay and North ponds, but adult alewives were largely cannibalistic by August. Thus, success of reintroducing anadromous alewives in waters containing white perch may be negatively impacted by predation as well as cannibalism.
Additional publication details
Anadromous alewives, Alosa pseudoharengus, as prey for white perch, Morone americana