We examined the importance of prey availability, predation, and abiotic factors in determining growth and survival of age-0 walleye (Sander vitreus) across 15 Illinois reservoirs during 7 years. Multiple life stages were examined by stocking walleye at three different size groups: larval (6 mm total length (TL)), small (46 mm TL), and large (100 mm TL). Factors affecting growth and survival of walleye varied depending on walleye size. Growth of small and large walleye increased with benthic invertebrate density. Temperature had a positive effect on larval and small walleye growth but a negative effect on large walleye growth. Prey availability was an important factor for walleye survival across all size groups, whereas temperature affected only larval and large walleye. Juvenile centrarchid density had a negative effect on larval walleye survival, presumably caused by predation. Our best predictive models explained substantial variation in survival for larval (97%), small (57%), and large (83%) walleye. We also explained a high proportion of variation in growth of large (98%), small (55%), and larval (52%) walleye. Our study demonstrates the importance of examining multiple life stages to predict growth and survival and leads to a better understanding of walleye recruitment and recommendations for stocking strategies.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences|
|State||Published - Oct 1 2006|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science