Rates of consumption of juvenile salmonids and alternative pray fish by northern squawfish, walleyes, smallmouth bass, and channel catfish in John Day Reservoir, Columbia River

Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
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Abstract

Adult northern squawfish Ptychocheilus oregonensis, walleyes Stizostedion vitreum, smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu, and channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus were sampled from four regions of John Day Reservoir from April to August 1983–1986 to quantify their consumption of 13 species of prey fish, particularly seaward-migrating juvenile Pacific salmon and steelhead (Oncorhynchus spp.). Consumption rates were estimated from field data on stomach contents and digestion rate relations determined in previous investigations. For each predator, consumption rates varied by reservoir area, month, time of day, and predator size or age. The greatest daily consumption of salmonids by northern squawfish and channel catfish (0.7 and 0.5 prey/predator) occurred in the upper end of the reservoir below McNary Dam. Greatest daily predation by walleyes (0.2 prey/predator) and smallmouth bass (0.04) occurred in the middle and lower reservoir. Consumption rates of all predators were highest in July, concurrent with maximum temperature and abundance of juvenile salmonids. Feeding by the predators tended to peak after dawn (0600–1200 hours) and near midnight (2000–2400). Northern squawfish below McNary Dam exhibited this pattern, but fed mainly in the morning hours down-reservoir. The daily ration of total prey fish was highest for northern squawfish over 451 mm fork length (> 13.2 mg/g predator), for walleyes 201–250 mm (42.5 mg/g), for smallmouth bass 176–200 mm (30.4 mg/g), and for channel catfish 401–450 mm (17.1 mg/g). Averaged over all predator sizes and sampling months (April–August), the total daily ration (fish plus other prey) of smallmouth bass (28.7 mg/ g) was about twice that of channel catfish (12.6), northern squawfish (14.1), and walleyes (14.2). However, northern squawfish was clearly the major predator on juvenile salmonids.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Rates of consumption of juvenile salmonids and alternative pray fish by northern squawfish, walleyes, smallmouth bass, and channel catfish in John Day Reservoir, Columbia River
Series title Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
DOI 10.1577/1548-8659(1991)120<0421:ROCOJS>2.3.CO;2
Volume 120
Issue 4
Year Published 1991
Language English
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Contributing office(s) Western Fisheries Research Center
Description 18 p.
First page 421
Last page 438