Suitability of the lake chubsucker as prey for largemouth bass in small impoundments

Ronald C. Eberts, Victor J. Santucci, David H. Wahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We evaluated the suitability of lake chubsuckers Erimyzon sucetta as prey for largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides in small impoundments by examining life history, susceptibility to predation, and effects on predator growth. Characteristics of lake chubsucker life history are favorable because the fish can produce moderate numbers of young for prey, can reach a size refuge from most predators and thereby maintain a viable population, and do not consume fish eggs or fry. In laboratory pools, largemouth bass consumed lake chubsuckers more often than they consumed bluegills Lepomis macrochirus. Largemouth bass growth was similar between experimental ponds containing either bluegills or lake chubsuckers, and although mortality was lower for age-0 and small largemouth bass in ponds with lake chubsuckers than ponds with bluegills, it was not lower for larger fish. In a lake manipulation experiment, largemouth bass growth was not changed by the introduction of lake chubsuckers. We recommend that lake chubsuckers not be stocked to supplement available prey in waters supporting bluegills or other abundant prey populations and that they never be stocked outside of their native range. However, lake chubsuckers may benefit largemouth bass in small impoundments in which bluegills are not present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-307
Number of pages13
JournalNorth American Journal of Fisheries Management
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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