The White Perch Morone americana is an invasive species in many Midwestern states and is widely distributed in reservoir systems, yet little is known about the species' age structure and population dynamics. White Perch were first observed in Sooner Reservoir, a thermally altered cooling reservoir in Oklahoma, by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation in 2006. It is unknown how thermally altered systems like Sooner Reservoir may affect the precision of White Perch age estimates. Previous studies have found that age structures from Largemouth Bass Micropterus salmoides and Bluegills Lepomis macrochirus from thermally altered reservoirs had false annuli, which increased error when estimating ages. Our objective was to quantify the precision of White Perch age estimates using four sagittal otolith preparation techniques (whole, broken, browned, and stained). Because Sooner Reservoir is thermally altered, we also wanted to identify the best month to collect a White Perch age sample based on aging precision. Ages of 569 White Perch (20–308 mm TL) were estimated using the four techniques. Age estimates from broken, stained, and browned otoliths ranged from 0 to 8 years; whole‐view otolith age estimates ranged from 0 to 7 years. The lowest mean coefficient of variation (CV) was obtained using broken otoliths, whereas the highest CV was observed using browned otoliths. July was the most precise month (lowest mean CV) for estimating age of White Perch, whereas April was the least precise month (highest mean CV). These results underscore the importance of knowing the best method to prepare otoliths for achieving the most precise age estimates and the best time of year to obtain those samples, as these factors may affect other estimates of population dynamics.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Precision of four otolith techniques for estimating age of white perch from a thermally altered reservoir|
|Series title||North American Journal of Fisheries Management|
|Contributing office(s)||Coop Res Unit Atlanta|
|Other Geospatial||Sooner Reservoir|