Walleyes (Stizostedion vitreum vitreum) were collected at five locations in the central basin of Lake Erie in 1985-87. The contents of the fishes' stomachs were examined to identify the species of prey. The seasonal availability of potential prey was determined from sampling with trawl tows. Food electivity indexes for young-of-the-year (YOY) and older walleyes were calculated. Electivity indexes changed monthly in YOY walleyes that consumed mostly YOY gizzard shads (Dorosoma cepedianum) in July and fed moderately on gizzard shads, but more on smelts (Osmerus mordax), in August. In September and October YOY walleyes did not consume YOY white perch (Morone americana). During October, they continued to eat YOY gizzard shads moderately but consumed mostly emerald shiners (Notropis atherinoides). Older walleys were highly partial to YOY gizzard shads, emerald shiners, and smelts and consumed no YOY white perch. The numbers of YOY yellow perch (Perca flavescens) in stomachs were limited. Prey selection by walleyes in the central basin was species-specific irrespective of abundance of prey.
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Selection of prey by walleyes in the Ohio waters of the central basin of Lake Erie, 1985-1987