Size of age-0 crappies (Pomoxis spp.) relative to reservoir habitats and water levels

Journal of Freshwater Ecology
By:  and 

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Abstract

Variable year-class strength is common in crappie Pomoxis spp. populations in many reservoirs, yet the mechanisms behind this variability are poorly understood. Size-dependent mortality of age-0 fishes has long been recognized in the population ecology literature; however, investigations about the effects of environmental factors on age-0 crappie size are lacking. The objective of this study was to determine if differences existed in total length of age-0 crappies between embayment and floodplain habitats in reservoirs, while accounting for potential confounding effects of water level and crappie species. To this end, we examined size of age-0 crappies in four flood-control reservoirs in northwest Mississippi over 4years. Age-0 crappies inhabiting uplake floodplain habitats grew to a larger size than fish in downlake embayments, but this trend depended on species, length of time a reservoir was dewatered in the months preceding spawning, and reservoir water level in the months following spawning. The results from our study indicate that water-level management may focus not only on allowing access to quality nursery habitat, but that alternating water levels on a multiyear schedule could increase the quality of degraded littoral habitats.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Size of age-0 crappies (Pomoxis spp.) relative to reservoir habitats and water levels
Series title Journal of Freshwater Ecology
DOI 10.1080/02705060.2014.923791
Volume 29
Issue 4
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Oikos Publishers
Publisher location La Crosse, WI
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description 10 p.
First page 525
Last page 534
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N