Gizzard shad put a freeze on winter mortality of age-0 yellow perch but not white perch

Department of Natural Resources, Cornell Biological Field Station, Cornell University, Bridgeport, New York 13030, USA.
Ecological Applications (Impact Factor: 4.09). 09/2006; 16(4):1487-501. DOI: 10.1890/1051-0761(2006)016[1487:GSPAFO]2.0.CO;2
Source: PubMed


Four decades of observations on the limnology and fishes of Oneida Lake, New York, USA, provided an opportunity to investigate causes of mortality during winter, a period of resource scarcity for most juvenile fishes, in age-0 yellow perch (Perca flavescens) and age-0 white perch (Morone americana). This time series contains several environmental (e.g., winter severity) and biological (e.g., predator abundance) signals that can be used to disentangle multiple effects on overwinter mortality of these fishes. A multiple regression analysis indicated that age-0 yellow perch winter mortality was inversely related to fish length in autumn and to the abundance of alternative prey (gizzard shad [Dorosoma cepedianum] and white perch). However, no length-selective predation of yellow perch by one of the main predators, adult walleye (Sander vitreus), was detected. In contrast, white perch mortality was directly associated with total predator biomass and abundance of white perch in autumn, and inversely related to yellow perch abundance as a potential buffer species, but not to the abundance of gizzard shad. Winter severity was not a significant predictor of mortality for either perch species. Predicted winter starvation mortality, from a model described in the literature, was much lower than observed mortality for yellow perch. Similar models for white perch were correlated with observed mortality. These results collectively suggest that predation is the main mechanism shaping winter mortality of yellow perch, while both predation and starvation may be important for white perch. This analysis also revealed that gizzard shad buffer winter mortality of yellow perch. Although winter duration determines the northern limit of fish distributions, in mid-latitude Oneida Lake and for these species, predator-prey interactions seem to exert a greater influence on winter mortality than starvation.

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    • "While gizzard shad did not comprise a large portion of the walleye diets throughout the year, they did represent a seasonally important (autumn) prey item (VanDeHey et al., 2012b). This seasonal use of gizzard shad by walleye was similar to that found in Oneida Lake, where shad, despite only seasonal use, are believed to " buffer " yellow perch from walleye predation (Fitzgerald et al., 2006). Our results suggest that during years when yellow perch abundance is low, gizzard shad could potentially help walleye sustain high growth and condition in these systems compared to systems where shad are not present. "
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    ABSTRACT: Fisheries managers often stock prey fish to increase abundance and growth of predatory sport fishes. One species commonly used in the U.S. Midwest is gizzard shad Dorosoma cepedianum; gizzard shad have been used to increase growth and condition of walleye Sander vitreus in many Midwestern systems. Additionally, with warming climates and stocking, gizzard shad are experiencing a natural range expansion. While this expansion may be beneficial for top predators like walleye, mixed results exist on the effects of gizzard shad on other recreationally important fishes in these systems. Our objectives were to determine if annual growth, relative abundance, and condition of yellow perch, Perca flavescens and walleye populations changed following the introduction of gizzard shad. Adult, pre-spawn gizzard shad were introduced in 2008 and 2009 at densities higher than those which resulted in self-sustaining populations in other South Dakota reservoirs. Yellow perch and walleye population dynamics were estimated during 2007 (pre-shad), 2008–2009 (shad present) and 2010 (post-shad) in two glacial lakes stocked with adult gizzard shad and a reference lake (not stocked with shad). Our results suggest that at the densities documented in this study and in the time frame assessed, gizzard shad did not negatively impact yellow perch as total length at age was similar, condition remained high and zooplankton resources were likely not limiting. Walleye did consume gizzard shad when available and shad appeared to have a neutral or positive effect on walleye growth, relative abundance and condition in these systems during this study. The addition of shad may be a viable option to improve walleye populations without negatively impacting sympatric yellow perch populations under the conditions tested in this study. However, the introduction of a non-indigenous species should be done with caution, especially a potential competitor like gizzard shad.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Fisheries Research
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    • "Currently, gizzard shad appear to have a positive impact on the Oneida Lake fishery. Age-0 gizzard shad provide a valuable prey resource for sport fish in Oneida Lake (Lantry et al. 2008); exhibit limited competition with native prey fish (Roseman et al. 1996); and, when abundant, act as a predation buffer for other prey fish (Fitzgerald et al. 2006). Additionally, high overwinter mortality of age-0 gizzard shad limits the populations of adult gizzard shad, which have been shown to exert negative impacts on water quality and fish communities in Ohio reservoirs (Vanni et al. 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: Overwinter mortality of gizzard shad Dorosoma cepedianum has been attributed to starvation, cold stress, and predation; however, the interactions among these factors are not well understood and can change across winter. We evaluated possible causes for overwinter mortality of age-0 gizzard shad through a combination of experiments and field sampling during the winters of 2005–2006 and 2006–2007. In the first experiment, gizzard shad were placed into cages in Oneida Lake, New York, during three time periods prior to ice formation. The fish exhibited low mortality at temperatures above 8°C but high mortality (>75%) in all cages as temperature dropped below 8°C. We observed no consistent patterns of length-dependent mortality or changes in total percent dry weight (DW). However, the viscerosomatic index (VSI) decreased during all time periods, indicating disproportionate use of visceral tissues. In the second experiment, gizzard shad were exposed to temperature treatments of 1, 2, and 4°C in experimental cold rooms. Little mortality occurred as temperature dropped from 8°C to 4°C, but mortality increased after temperature reached 4°C and was highest in the two coldest treatments. Within a temperature treatment, small fish died faster, and mortality exhibited a weak negative correlation with VSI and percent DW. Average size of fish in field collections increased through the winter, indicating higher mortality of smaller individuals and proportional changes in somatic DW and visceral DW. Results from both experiments and the field collections suggest that cold stress and an inability to acclimate—rather than starvation—are driving gizzard shad mortality at low temperatures.Received December 2, 2010; accepted May 26, 2011
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
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    • "Borcherding et al. (2006) also report that Hemimysis may survive temperatures close to 0ºC over winter. Oneida Lake reaches very low temperatures in the winter (almost always <1ºC, Fitzgerald et al. 2006) and summer temperatures close to 28°C have been observed (Jackson et al. 2008). If Hemimysis can survive at the temperature extremes found in Oneida Lake, there are few lakes in the Northeast where they would be thermally limited. "
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    ABSTRACT: Hemimysis anomala (Crustacea, Mysidae) is a recent invader to North America that until now was reported only from the Laurentian Great Lakes and their immediate embayments, along with the St. Lawrence River. In August 2009, we identified Hemimysis in diets of white perch and yellow perch in Oneida Lake, NY. Night time vertical plankton net tows detected Hemimysis at four sites across the lake. Hemimysis in fish diets (5.5– 8.6 mm) were larger than in net tows (2.2–7.0 mm) and reproduction is occurring as some females had brood sacs. This is the first documented introduction of Hemimysis to an inland lake in North America, outside the Great Lakes. Oneida Lake is located 53 river km upstream from Lake Ontario, the nearest known source of Hemimysis. No genetic differences were found between Hemimysis in Oneida Lake and Lake Ontario, indicating this is likely the source of introduction. Several large rapids, locks, and dams separate the two lakes, and as a result the most likely vector of introduction to Oneida Lake is pleasure boat or light commercial traffic via the canal system or overland transport. The presence of Hemimysis in Oneida Lake 3 years after it was first found in Lake Ontario suggests this species may spread rapidly throughout the basin. Despite an intensive monitoring program on Oneida Lake directed at fish, Zooplankton, and limnology, Hemimysis was only detected in fish diets and night time Zooplankton tows, indicating it may go undetected in lakes for some time using traditional daytime net tows.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2010 · Journal of Great Lakes Research
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