Energy content of young yellow perch and walleye in Saginaw Bay

Steven A. Pothoven, Tomas O. Höök, Charles R. Roswell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We evaluated seasonal energy content of age-0 yellow perch Perca flavescens and walleye Sander vitreus in Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron in 2009 and 2010. We also determined the energy content of age-1 fish from the 2009 and 2010 cohorts the following spring (i.e., for fish that had survived one winter) to evaluate overwinter energy losses. As expected, larger fish within each species had disproportionately higher energy content (i.e., slope relating length and energy > 3.0) than smaller conspecifics. By contrast to expectations, allometric slopes were > 3.0 in nearly all months, not just the fall, and were higher for age-0 yellow perch than for walleye, even though increased allocation to growth would have seemingly been beneficial to even the largest yellow perch during summer. Seasonal energy allocation patterns differed between years. In 2009, length specific energy content increased from late summer to fall for both species. However, for the 2010 cohorts of fish, length specific energy content decreased between late summer and fall for yellow perch and did not change for walleye. There were 13-17% overwinter declines in length specific energy content between the fall (October or November) and the spring (May) with no major differences between cohorts within a species or between species for a given year. Because young yellow perch and walleye are similar physiologically but differ in size (i.e., yellow perch are smaller), it is possible that overwinter energy losses are more important for yellow perch than for walleye.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-138
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Great Lakes Research
Issue numberS1
StatePublished - Jun 2 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Allometry
  • Energy allocation
  • Lake Huron
  • Seasonality
  • Winter survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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