Stomachs of 1,064 alewives (Alosa pseudoharengus), 1,103 yellow perch (Perca flavescens), 246 spottail shiners (Notropis hudsonius), 288 trout-perch (Percopsis omiscomaycus), 454 slimy sculpins (Cottus cognatus), and 562 fourhorn sculpins (Myoxocephalus quadricornis) from Lake Michigan were examined for food contents. Fish were sampled primarily from March to November and nearly all were caught at the bottom in the southeastern part of the lake near Saugatuck, Michigan. Depths of capture (m) were: alewives, 5 to 110; yellow perch, 5 to 26; spottail shiners, 5 to 31; trout-perch, 9 to 46; slimy sculpins, 31 to 91; and fourhorn sculpins, 73 to 110. Alewives, particularly those less than 140 mm long, fed chiefly on zooplankton; Pontoporeia usually constituted most of the rest of the food, although Mysis and immature midges were occasionally eaten in considerable quantity. Yellow perch ate primarily Pontoporeia, fish eggs, Mysis, and crayfish; Pontoporeia was consumed most heavily by perch less than 250 mm long and those in relatively deep water, fish (mainly slimy sculpins) by those 200 mm long or longer, Mysis by those in deep water, and crayfish by those on rocky bottom. Spottail shiners fed most commonly on immature midges, Pontoporeia, zooplankton, fingernail clams, and (in July only) fish eggs; immature midges were eaten mainly by shiners in shallow water; and Pontoporeia by those in deeper areas. The diet of trout-perch was strongly dominated by Pontoporeia and immature midges. Slimy sculpins ate Pontoporeia almost exclusively. Fourhorn sculpins fed almost entirely on Mysis and Pontoporeia; Pontoporeia was particularly important in the diet of the larger fish.
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Federal Government Series
Food of alewives, yellow perch, spottail shiners, trout-perch, and slimy and fourhorn sculpins in southeastern Lake Michigan