Using a corrected algorithm for balancing the energy budget, we reevaluated the Wisconsin bioenergetics model for lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) in the laboratory and for lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) in the laboratory and in the field. For lake trout, results showed that the bioenergetics model slightly overestimated food consumption by the lake trout when they were fed low and intermediate rations, whereas the model predicted food consumption by lake trout fed ad libitum without any detectable bias. The slight bias in model predictions for lake trout on restricted rations may have been an artifact of the feeding schedule for these fish, and we would therefore recommend application of the Wisconsin lake trout bioenergetics model to lake trout populations in the field without any revisions to the model. Use of the Wisconsin bioenergetics model for coregonids resulted in overestimation of food consumption by lake whitefish both in the laboratory and in the field by between 20 and 30%, on average. This overestimation of food consumption was most likely due to overestimation of respiration rate. We therefore adjusted the respiration component of the bioenergetics model to obtain a good fit to the observed consumption in our laboratory tanks. The adjusted model predicted the consumption in the laboratory and the field without any detectable bias. Until a detailed lake whitefish respiration study can be conducted, we recommend application of our adjusted version of the Wisconsin generalized coregonid bioenergetics model to lake whitefish populations in the field.
Additional publication details
Reevaluation of lake trout and lake whitefish bioenergetics models