Factors influencing recruitment of walleye and white bass to three distinct early ontogenetic stages

Ecology of Freshwater Fish
By:  and 



Determining the factors that influence recruitment to sequential ontogenetic stages is critical for understanding recruitment dynamics of fish and for effective management of sportfish, particularly in dynamic and unpredictable environments. We sampled walleye (Sander vitreus) and white bass (Morone chrysops) at 3 ontogenetic stages (age 0 during spring: ‘age-0 larval’; age 0 during autumn: ‘age-0 juvenile’; and age 1 during autumn: ‘age-1 juvenile’) from 3 reservoirs. We developed multiple linear regression models to describe factors influencing age-0 larval, age-0 juvenile and age-1 juvenile walleye and white bass abundance indices. Our models explained 40–80% (68 ± 9%; mean ± SE) and 71%–97% (81 ± 6%) of the variability in catch for walleye and white bass respectively. For walleye, gizzard shad were present in the candidate model sets for all three ontogenetic stages we assessed. For white bass, there was no unifying variable in all three stage-specific candidate model sets, although walleye abundance was present in two of the three white bass candidate model sets. We were able to determine several factors affecting walleye and white bass year-class strength at multiple ontogenetic stages; comprehensive analyses of factors influencing recruitment to multiple early ontogenetic stages are seemingly rare in the literature. Our models demonstrate the interdependency among early ontogenetic stages and the complexities involved with sportfish recruitment.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Factors influencing recruitment of walleye and white bass to three distinct early ontogenetic stages
Series title Ecology of Freshwater Fish
DOI 10.1111/eff.12229
Volume 25
Issue 4
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Seattle
Description 14 p.
First page 504
Last page 517
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N