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Welcome to the interactive web schedule for the 2019 Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference! The schedule is subject to change (as of November 20, 2018). Please check back for updates. To return to the main Conference website, go to: www.midwestfw.org.

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Tuesday, January 29 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
(P55) Distribution and Abundance of Larval Yellow Perch in Lake St. Clair and Adjoining Waters

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AUTHORS. Clara Lloyd, Celia Evans – Paul Smith’s College; Robin DeBruyne, University of Toledo; Andrew Briggs, Jan-Michael Hessenauer, Todd Wills – Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Ed Roseman, U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center

ABSTRACT. Spatial and temporal dynamics of fish larvae play an important role in determining year-class strength. These dynamics are affected by variation in habitat quality and food resources that influence larval growth, development, and survival rates. Ichthyoplankton surveys conducted during the past decade in the Detroit River revealed a high abundance of larval yellow perch originating from Lake St Clair and drifting through the river to Lake Erie. Genetic and microchemistry analyses showed that these fish make a substantial contribution to the yellow perch stock in western Lake Erie. Our study examines the spatial and temporal distributions of larval yellow perch in Lake St. Clair in order to identify important spawning and nursery areas and other ecological factors influencing their early life history. We employed a lake-wide daytime sampling program using paired bongo nets to sample pelagic larvae beginning in early spring before yellow perch had hatched and continued through mid-summer when larvae were absent from samples. Based on preliminary sample analysis, yellow perch first appeared in samples on 08 May 2018, quickly increased in abundance, and were no longer vulnerable to our sampling gear by the fourth week in July.  Densities were highest at sample sites along the Canadian shore and near the Clinton River outlet.  Spatial overlap and abundance of larvae will be compared with older age-0 and juvenile yellow perch bottom trawl survey data to explore relationships between life stages. Results from this study will reveal important locations for yellow perch spawning and nursery areas in Lake St. Clair and provide insight to ecological interactions that influence year-class formation.     

Tuesday January 29, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Superior Ballroom CD