Annual recruitment is correlated with reproductive success in a smallmouth bass population

David P. Philipp, Julie E. Claussen, James Ludden, Jana H. Svec, Aaron D. Shultz, Steven J. Cooke, Mark S. Ridgway, Allan H. Bell, Madison A.C. Philipp, Cory D. Suski, Matthew M.C. Philipp, Frank J.S. Phelan, Jeffrey A. Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Annual recruitment in fish is undoubtedly impacted by a vast number of biotic and abiotic factors. That is especially the case for fish species such as the black bass (species in the genus Micropterus), where there is extended parental care. Although much focus has been given in the past on determining the roles that many of these factors (e.g., temperatures, wind, flow rates, and habitat change) play in determining recruitment among the back basses, little attention has been given to assessing what role reproductive success plays in that determination. To address this question, we conducted a long-term study on two adjacent smallmouth bass (SMB) Micropterus dolomieu Lacepède, 1802 populations in eastern ON to assess the relationship between annual fry cohort size (FCS) (i.e., population-wide reproductive success) and annual recruitment. To measure population-wide annual FCS, we used snorkel surveys to conduct a complete census of nesting SMB males during the spawn from 1990 to 2015. During those surveys, we quantified mating success, determined which nests were successful or not, and calculated the number of independent fry produced each year by summing those numbers across all successful nests. Summer snorkel surveys from 1991 to 2016 assessed annual recruitment through visual counts of age 1+ juveniles. Results demonstrated a highly significant, positive, linear relationship between annual FCS and annual recruitment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1017-1030
Number of pages14
JournalCanadian journal of zoology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2023


  • Micropterus dolomieu
  • angling
  • annual recruitment
  • reproductive success
  • smallmouth bass

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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