We developed a foraging model for young fishes that incorporates handling and digestion rate to estimate daily food consumption. Feeding trials were used to quantify functional feeding response, satiation, and gut evacuation rate. Once parameterized, the foraging model was then applied to evaluate effects of prey type, prey density, water temperature, and fish size on daily feeding rate by age-0 (19–70 mm) pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus). Prey consumption was positively related to prey density (for fish >30 mm) and water temperature, but negatively related to prey size and the presence of sand substrate. Model evaluation results revealed good agreement between observed estimates of daily consumption and those predicted by the model (r2 = 0.95). Model simulations showed that fish feeding on Chironomidae or Ephemeroptera larvae were able to gain mass, whereas fish feeding solely on zooplankton lost mass under most conditions. By accounting for satiation and digestive processes in addition to handling time and prey density, the model provides realistic estimates of daily food consumption that can prove useful for evaluating rearing conditions for age-0 fishes.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Development of a foraging model framework to reliably estimate daily food consumption by young fishes|
|Series title||Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences|
|Publisher||NRC Research Press|
|Contributing office(s)||Coop Res Unit Leetown|