SIZE AT AGE COMPARISON OF YELLOW PERCH ACROSS A NORTH-SOUTH GRADIENT OF LAKES CONNECTED TO LAKE MICHIGAN
Yellow perch declines in Lake Michigan have prompted research to improve understanding of life history patterns, including the extent of intraspecific variation across habitat features. To better understand how nearshore habitat variation influences growth, we used anal spine analysis to compare size at age of yellow perch collected in August 2015 from littoral zones of 10 drowned river mouth lakes (lake-like tributaries directly connected to Lake Michigan) along a north-south gradient. Our hypothesis was that yellow perch from southern lakes would have larger size at age than northern lakes due to longer growing season and higher productivity. Results showed some support for our hypothesis, as southern lakes tended to have higher size at age than northern lakes. However, a notable exception to this trend was the second northernmost lake, where size at age was 40% higher than other nearby lakes. This unexpected result may be due to relatively high productivity in this lake, which is more similar to southern lakes than to surrounding northern lakes. Our preliminary findings suggest that growth may be strongly influenced by environmental variation across nearshore habitats utilized by yellow perch.
Josh Colasante (Primary Presenter/Author), Indiana University of Pennsylvania, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Greg Chorak ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Grand Valley State University, email@example.com;
David Janetski ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Indiana University of Pennsylvania, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Carl Ruetz ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Annis Water Resources Institute, Grand Valley State University, email@example.com;
David Clapp ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Michigan Department of Natural Resources , firstname.lastname@example.org;