Because fish are poikilothermic, water temperature is regarded as a primary factor influencing their activity and behaviour. Rarely have field studies been conducted with the spatiotemporal resolution to enable rigorous quantitative assessments of that relationship. Furthermore, there have been few studies that have considered the influence of sex on the seasonal behaviour of fish. Twenty largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides (Lacepède, 1802)) were implanted with coded acoustic telemetry transmitters and remotely tracked in near real time in a small lake in Ontario, Canada, via a whole-lake hydrophone array between 1 November 2004 and 30 September 2005. Fish inhabited the deepest waters and were least active during the winter months under ice. During the warmest months, fish were most active and inhabited the littoral zone. Sex-specific differences were noted year-round. Reproductive males were less active and inhabited shallower depths during the spawning and post-reproductive periods. Reproductive males inhabited the deepest depths during winter and fall, with nonreproductive males at the shallowest depths. Throughout the year, the behaviour of nonreproductive males and females was similar. While differences in behaviour of bass are primarily driven by water temperature, sex and reproductive status play important roles year-round, especially during and after the reproductive period.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology