Ages were determined and individual growth histories computed from the examination and measurement of scales from 820 yellow perch collected in 1929 and 1930. Calculated lengths greater than 101 millimeters were computed on the assumption (supported by empirical data) that the ratio of body length to scale length is constant. Lengths below 101 millimeters were determined with the aid of an empirical curve of the body-scale relationship of small fish. Yellow perch of age-groups III and IV (in the fourth and fifth years of life) made up the bulk of the collection (78 per cent). Females grew slightly more rapidly than males, but members of both sexes attained the legal length of 8 1/2 inches during the fourth year of life, just as they were entering on the period of most rapid growth in weight. The greatest growth in weight of both sexes occurred in the sixth year of life. In the combined samples of the two years the females exceeded the males in abundance in the ratio, 296:100. The weight of the Saginaw Bay yellow perch was found to increase as the 3.117 power of the length. The relative length of the tail decreased with increase in the length of the fish. The Saginaw Bay yellow perch is now far less abundant than it was in the early years of the fishery. The average annual production of 548,000 pounds over the period, 1917-1938, was only 28 per cent of the earlier (1891-1916) "normal" annual production of 1,961,000 pounds. A detailed analysis of statistical data available for more recent years made possible a description of annual fluctuations in the abundance and production of yellow perch and in the intensity of the yellow perch fishery in Saginaw Bay over the period, 1929-1938.
Additional publication details
Age, growth, and production of the yellow perch, Perca flavescens (Mitchill), of Saginaw Bay