Degree-day accumulation influences annual variability in growth of age-0 walleye

Fisheries Research
By: , and 



The growth of age-0 fishes influences survival, especially in temperate regions where size-dependent over-winter mortality can be substantial. Additional benefits of earlier maturation and greater fecundity may exist for faster growing individuals. This study correlated prey densities, growing-degree days, water-surface elevation, turbidity, and chlorophyll a with age-0 walleye Sander vitreus growth in a south-central Nebraska irrigation reservoir. Growth of age-0 walleye was variable between 2003 and 2011, with mean lengths ranging from 128 to 231 mm by fall (September 30th–October 15th). A set of a priori candidate models were used to assess the relative support of explanatory variables using Akaike's information criterion (AIC). A temperature model using the growing degree-days metric was the best supported model, describing 65% of the variability in annual mean lengths of age-0 walleye. The second and third best supported models included the variables chlorophyll a (r2 = 0.49) and larval freshwater drum density (r2 = 0.45), respectively. There have been mixed results concerning the importance of temperature effects on growth of age-0 walleye. This study supports the hypothesis that temperature is the most important predictor of age-0 walleye growth near the southwestern limits of its natural range.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Degree-day accumulation influences annual variability in growth of age-0 walleye
Series title Fisheries Research
DOI 10.1016/j.fishres.2013.05.010
Volume 147
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Description 5 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Fisheries Research
First page 394
Last page 398
Country United States
State Nebraska
Other Geospatial Henry County Reservoir