The gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) was introduced into 1,955-ha Angostura Reservoir, South Dakota to provide increased prey resources for walleye (Sander vitreus). Linear correlation analysis indicated that following gizzard shad introduction, walleye catch-per-unit-effort and mean length at age have increased over time (r = 0.68 to 0.85, P = 0.02 to 0.001). Walleye stomach contents were collected monthly from April through September, 2004 to determine the extent to which age-0 gizzard shad were being utilized as prey during the growing season. Age-0 gizzard shad were absent from walleye diets from April to mid-July (pre-shad-available period); however, from mid-July through early September (shad-available period), age-0 gizzard shad were an important prey item in all walleye diets. Mean weight decreased for walleyes of ages 2-5 during the spring, before age-0 gizzard shad became available; however, growth rate of walleyes increased appreciably during the shad-available period and was attributable to consumption of age-0 shad prey. In Angostura Reservoir, which lies at the northwestern edge of the gizzard shad range, walleye population characteristics have improved following shad introduction and during 2004, age-0 shad directly affected walleye feeding and growth.
Additional publication details
Walleye consumption and long-term population trends following gizzard shad introduction into a Western South Dakota reservoir