Yellow perch (Perca flavescens) stock structure in Lake Michigan: An analysis using mark-recapture data

David C. Glover, John M. Dettmers, David H. Wahl, David F. Clapp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To evaluate the stock structure of yellow perch (Perca flavescens) in the southern basin of Lake Michigan and in Green Bay, we analyzed recaptures from a lake-wide mark-recapture study implemented from 1996 to 2001 to infer the range and pattern of movement and spawning-site fidelity. Yellow perch generally moved south along the western shoreline, west along the southern shoreline, and north along the eastern shoreline during summer and non-summer months; the magnitude of movement was greater after spawning. Spawning yellow perch frequently returned to the same site, with 35%-80% of recaptured individuals returning to their marking site. Results from multiple tagging sites within Illinois indicated that spawners may return to larger areas rather than to specific sites, suggesting that large spawning complexes exist. Despite strong fidelity in some areas, straying was evident from all sites during spawning, resulting in mixing throughout the southern basin. Such mixing could promote gene flow and diminish stock differentiation. Dispersal of yellow perch within the southern basin of Lake Michigan occurred regularly across adjacent management boundaries. Therefore, adjacent jurisdictions may wish to consider re-examining their regulations based on this information to ensure consistent, complementary regulations that incorporate the movement patterns of yellow perch.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1919-1930
Number of pages12
JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


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