World-wide, many burbot Lota lota (L.) populations have been extirpated or are otherwise in need of conservation measures. By contrast, burbot made a dramatic recovery in Lake Erie during 1993-2001 but declined during 2002-2007, due in part to a sharp decrease in recruitment. We used Akaike's Information Criterion to evaluate 129 linear regression models that included all combinations of one to seven ecological indices as predictors of burbot recruitment. Two models were substantially supported by the data: (i) the number of days in which water temperatures were within optimal ranges for burbot spawning and development combined with biomass of yearling and older (YAO) yellow perch Perca flavescens (Mitchill); and (ii) biomass of YAO yellow perch. Warmer winter water temperatures and increases in yellow perch biomass were associated with decreases in burbot recruitment. Continued warm winter water temperatures could result in declines in burbot recruitment, particularly in the southern part of the species' range. Published 2010. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
Additional publication details
Recruitment of burbot (Lota lota L.) in Lake Erie: An empirical modelling approach