Walleye (Sander vitreus) is an important sport fish throughout much of North America, and walleye populations support valuable commercial fisheries in certain lakes as well. Using a corrected algorithm for balancing the energy budget, we reevaluated the performance of the Wisconsin bioenergetics model for walleye in the laboratory. Walleyes were fed rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) in four laboratory tanks each day during a 126-day experiment. Feeding rates ranged from 1.4 to 1.7 % of walleye body weight per day. Based on a statistical comparison of bioenergetics model predictions of monthly consumption with observed monthly consumption, we concluded that the bioenergetics model estimated food consumption by walleye without any significant bias. Similarly, based on a statistical comparison of bioenergetics model predictions of weight at the end of the monthly test period with observed weight, we concluded that the bioenergetics model predicted walleye growth without any detectable bias. In addition, the bioenergetics model predictions of cumulative consumption over the 126-day experiment differed fromobserved cumulative consumption by less than 10 %. Although additional laboratory and field testing will be needed to fully evaluate model performance, based on our laboratory results, the Wisconsin bioenergetics model for walleye appears to be providing unbiased predictions of food consumption.
Additional publication details
Reevaluation of a walleye (Sander vitreus) bioenergetics model