Walleye (Sander vitreus) is an economically and culturally important species in Lake Erie that has experienced large interannual variability in recruitment. We examined the importance of prey biomass during the larval period to walleye recruitment while also considering the importance of temperature. Using nine years of field data over a 22-year period (1994–2016) for larval walleye and zooplankton, we found that strong recruitment events occurred in years when the biomass (dry µg L-1) of copepods (e.g., calanoids, cyclopoids) was greater during the spring larval period. Conversely, the biomass of cladocerans and mean spring water temperatures were poor predictors of walleye recruitment. Our results highlight the need to consider zooplankton availability during the larval period when seeking to understand the recruitment dynamics of freshwater fish populations such as Lake Erie walleye.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Evidence that copepod biomass during the larval period regulates recruitment of Lake Erie walleye|
|Series title||Journal of Great Lakes Research|
|Contributing office(s)||Great Lakes Science Center|
|Other Geospatial||Lake Erie|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|