Diets of adults of six important piscivorous fish species, black crappie Pomoxis nigromaculatus, largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides, northern pike Esox lucius, smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieui, walleye Stizostedion vitreum, and yellow perch Perca flavescens were quantified in Spirit Lake, Iowa, USA from May to October in 1995-1997. Forty-one prey taxa were found in the diets of these species, including 19 species of fish. The most important prey taxa overall were yellow perch, amphipods and dipterans. Diets of northern pike and walleye were dominated by yellow perch. Largemouth bass diets included large percentages of both yellow perch and black bullhead Ameiurus melas. Smallmouth bass diets included large percentages of both yellow perch and crayfish. Black crappie and yellow perch diets were dominated by invertebrates, primarily amphipods and dipterans. There were pronounced differences in diets among species, among size classes within species and over time. Most of the dominant prey taxa we documented in the diets of piscivorous species were in accordance with previous studies, but a few deviated significantly from expectations. Many of the temporal diet changes were asynchronous among piscivorous species and size classes, suggesting different responses to common prey resources over time.
Additional publication details
Diet dynamics of the adult piscivorous fish community in Spirit Lake, Iowa, USA 1995-1997