Natural Resource Ecology and Management
Hatchery propagation techniques, such as pellet-rearing, can result in altered feeding behaviour. Walleye Sander vitreus (Mitchill) is a commonly propagated sportfish, yet little is known regarding its ability to switch to live prey post-stocking. The objectives were to evaluate temporal changes in diet composition and condition as well as evaluate the relationship between total length and presence of different prey consumed by stocked walleye fry and fingerlings. Fingerling walleye had higher average proportions of empty stomachs and benthic invertebrates but less fish that stocked walleye fry. The presence of zooplankton, benthic invertebrates or fish was not related to walleye length. Walleye condition was similar between cohorts and did not change over days post-stocking. Percent similarity index values between cohorts were variable (0.0 to 67.9%). It was concluded that stocked walleye fingerlings consume lower quality prey items than stocked fry counterparts at least up to 49-day post-stocking, which may have implications for post-stocking survival.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.
Ball, Emily E. and Weber, Michael J., "Shift happens: Evaluating the ability of autumn stocked walleye Sander vitreus to shift to natural prey" (2021). Natural Resource Ecology and Management Publications. 385.