Temporal trends of young-of-year fishes in Lake Erie and comparison of diel sampling periods

Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
By: , and 



We explored temporal trends of young-of-year (YOY) fishes caught in bottom trawl hauls at an established offshore monitoring site in Lake Erie in fall during 1961–2001. Sampling was conducted during morning, afternoon, and night in each year. Catches per hour (CPH) of alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) YOY were relatively low and exhibited no temporal trend. This result was consistent with the species’ intolerance to Lake Erie’s adverse winter water temperatures. Gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) YOY decreased sharply after 1991, which was consistent with recent oligotrophication of the lake. Following the establishment in 1979 and rapid increase of white perch (Morone americana) YOY, white bass (Morone chrysops) and freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens) YOY decreased. Trout-perch (Percopsis omiscomaycus) YOY decreased during 1986–1991, but recovered to previous levels during 1991–2001. The recovery coincided with the resurgence of mayflies (Ephemoptera) in the lake. CPH of spottail shiner (Notropis hudsonius) and emerald shiner (N. atherinoides) YOY exhibited no temporal trend between 1961 and the late 1970s to early 1980s. CPH of yellow perch (Perca flavescens) YOY decreased during 1961–1988, and walleye (Sander vitreum) YOY increased overall during the time series. These observations were consistent with published studies of adults in the region. CPH of 4 of the 10 species of YOY considered were greatest during night. CPH for walleye YOY was higher in the morning than in the afternoon, but there was no significant difference between night and morning abundances. The results suggest that (1) CPH of YOY fishes may be a useful monitoring tool for Lake Erie, and (2) offshore monitoring programs that do not include night sampling periods may underestimate recruitment for several common species.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Temporal trends of young-of-year fishes in Lake Erie and comparison of diel sampling periods
Series title Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
DOI 10.1007/s10661-006-9350-2
Volume 129
Issue 1-3
Year Published 2007
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Great Lakes Science Center
Description 10 p.
First page 169
Last page 178
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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