Diets of endangered silver chub (Macrhybopsis storeriana, Kirtland, 1844) in Lake Erie and implications for recovery

Ecology of Freshwater Fish



Silver chub (Macrhybopsis storeriana, Kirtland, 1844) is a native Cyprinid in Lake Erie, one of the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America. It is listed as endangered by the US state of New York and Canada, which has a recovery plan, and as special concern by the state of Michigan. Silver chub faces a potential threat to recovery from control efforts for invasive Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella, Valenciennes 1844). Among the knowledge gaps for protection and restoration is current diet data. I describe the diet of silver chub from western Lake Erie in 2014, and I compare it to past studies to assess changes in diet through time. Silver chub captured in bottom trawls May–September 2014 were frozen in the field, and stomach contents were preserved in ethanol. Diet taxa were identified to the lowest practical taxonomic unit, then dried and weighed. Frequency of occurrence in silver chub diets was highest for Hexagenia spp. mayflies (79%). Dreissena spp. and Hexagenia spp. were both 41% of the diet by dry weight. Analysis of δ13C isotopes identified Hexagenia spp. as the primary source of carbon in silver chub. Compared to past studies, Dreissena spp. have mostly replaced Sphaeriidae and Gastropoda in silver chub diets. There also have been seasonal shifts in relative amounts of shelled organisms and Hexagenia spp. This study and past research suggest a functional link between silver chub and Hexagenia spp. abundance. Maintenance and recovery of silver chub may be dependent on maintaining Hexagenia spp. populations.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Diets of endangered silver chub (Macrhybopsis storeriana, Kirtland, 1844) in Lake Erie and implications for recovery
Series title Ecology of Freshwater Fish
DOI 10.1111/eff.12424
Volume 28
Issue 1
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Great Lakes Science Center
Description 8 p.
First page 33
Last page 40
Other Geospatial Lake Erie
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