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Abiotic Factors and Species Interactions that Influence Recruitment of Walleyes in Kansas Reservoirs

Investigators:
Michael C. Quist, Ph.D. Student

Project Supervisor:
Dr. Christopher Guy

Funding:
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks,
and Tourism

Cooperators:
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism

Location:
Glen Elder Reservoir, Kansas

Completion:
2002

Status:  Completed


Walleye (Stizostedion vitreum)

Objectives:

Examine factors influencing variability in walleye recruitment in Kansas reservoirs.

Investigate the influence of temperature and prey availability on growth and survival of larval walleyes in Glen Elder Reservoir during 1999-2001.

Results:
Walleyes Stizostedion vitreum are an important secondary consumer and sport fish throughout the Great Plains; however, little is known about the factors influencing their recruitment in Kansas reservoirs. Therefore, the objective of the first study was to examine factors influencing variability in walleye recruitment over 20 years in seven Kansas reservoirs. Recruitment of walleyes was highly variable within and among reservoirs. A reduction in recruitment through time was not apparent for most reservoirs, but peaks in recruitment were generally highest in the 1980s. Strong walleye year classes were produced during years with warm spring temperatures, low water levels, and high storage ratios. Juvenile white crappie Pomoxis annularis abundance was negatively associated with walleye recruitment in all reservoirs. Mesocosm experiments suggested that predation may affect walleye recruitment when white crappie densities are high.

Many of the factors identified as important for walleye recruitment across Kansas reservoirs likely influence the early life history of walleyes. Therefore, the objective of the second study was to investigate the influence of temperature and prey availability on growth and survival of larval walleyes in Glen Elder Reservoir during 1999-2001. Despite similarities in zooplankton abundance among years, recruitment of walleyes in 1999 was the lowest in nearly 20 years, while moderate year classes were produced in 2000 and 2001. During 1999, low spring temperatures resulted in poor growth of walleyes. Larval gizzard shad Dorosoma cepedianum were extremely abundant in 1999 and likely competed with larval walleyes for zooplankton resources. In addition, slow growth of walleyes in 1999 probably prevented walleyes from feeding on larval gizzard shad. Walleyes grew faster in 2000 and 2001 and were able to consume larval gizzard shad resulting in moderate recruitment.

Reservoirs are unique habitats for fishes. Not only are abiotic conditions different from natural lakes and rivers, but fish communities are comprised of species with little or no history of co-occurrence. The results of this study suggest that recruitment of walleyes is highly variable within and among reservoirs and further illustrates the importance of interactions between abiotic and biotic conditions.










Products:
Peer-reviewed and Scientic Publications:
Quist, M. C., J. L. Stephen, C. S. Guy, and R. D. Schultz. 2004. Age structure and mortality of walleyes in Kansas reservoirs: applications for establishing realistic management objectives. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 24:990-1002.

Quist, M.C., Guy, C.S., Bernot, R.J. and Stephen, J.L., 2004. Factors related to growth and survival of larval walleyes: implications for recruitment in a southern Great Plains reservoir. Fisheries Research, 67(2), pp.215-225.

Quist, M.C., K. R. Pember, C. S. Guy, and J. L. Stephen. 2004. Variation in larval fish communities: implications for management and sampling designs in reservoir systems. Fisheries Management and Ecology 11:107-116.

Quist, M. C., C. S. Guy, and R. J. Bernot. 2004. Anti-predator behavior of larval walleyes and saugeyes. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 107: 69-76.

Quist, M. C., C. S. Guy, R. D. Schultz, and J. L. Stephen. 2003. Latitudinal comparisons of walleye growth in North America and factors influencing growth of walleyes in Kansas reservoirs. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 23:677-692.

Quist, M. C., C. S. Guy, and J. L. Stephen. 2003. Recruitment dynamics of walleyes (Stizostedion vitreum) in Kansas reservoirs: generalities with natural systems and effects of a centrarchid predator. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 60:830-839.

Quist, M. C., C. S. Guy, R. J. Bernot, and J. L. Stephen. 2002. Seasonal variation in condition, growth, and food habits of walleyes in a Great Plains reservoir and simulated effects of an altered thermal regime. Journal of Fish Biology 61:1329-1344.

Quist, M. C., C. S. Guy, R. J. Bernot, and J. L. Stephen. 2002. Efficiency of removing food items from walleyes using acrylic tubes. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 17:179-184.

Quist, M. C., R. J. Bernot, C. S. Guy, and J. L. Stephen. 2001. Seasonal variation in population characteristics of gizzard shad. Journal of Freshwater Ecology. 16(4): 641-646.

Quist, M. C., C. S. Guy, and J. L. Stephen. 2001. The effect of light shock on short-term survival of walleye fry. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 104:158-163.

Thesis or Dissertation:

Quist, Michael C. (Ph.D., 2002; advisor Guy) Abiotic Factors and Species Interactions that Influence Recruitment of Walleyes in Kansas Reservoirs. Ph.D. Dissertation, Division of Biology, Kansas State University.

Technical and Semi-Technical:
Guy, C. S., W. K. Dodds, M. C. Quist, and R. J. Bernot. 2003. Stocking success and factors influencing survival and growth of stocked walleyes. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Project F-45-R-2, Emporia.

Professional Presentations:
Quist, M. C. 2002. Abiotic and biotic factors influencing recruitment of walleyes in southern Great Plains reservoirs. Department of Zoology and Physiology, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming. PLATFORM (INVITED)

Quist, M. C., C. S. Guy, and J. L. Stephen. 2002. Abiotic factors and species interactions that influence recruitment of walleyes in reservoirs. 132nd Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society, Baltimore, Maryland. PLATFORM

Quist, M. C., R. J. Bernot, C. S. Guy, and J. L. Stephen. 2002. Seasonal variation in condition, growth, and food habits of walleye in Glen Elder Reservoir and potential effects of climate change on growth. 132nd Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society, Baltimore, Maryland. POSTER

Quist, M. C., K. R. Pember, C. S. Guy, and J. L. Stephen. 2002. Spatial and temporal variation in ichthyoplankton from Glen Elder Reservoir. 27th Annual Meeting of the Kansas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, Wichita, Kansas. PLATFORM

Quist, M. C., C. S. Guy, R. J. Bernot, and J. L. Stephen. 2002. Seasonal variation in condition, growth, and food habits of walleyes in a Great Plains reservoir and simulated effects of an altered thermal regime. 27th Annual Meeting of the Kansas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, Wichita, Kansas. POSTER

Quist, M. C., C. S. Guy, R. J. Bernot, and J. L. Stephen. 2002. Walleyes in Kansas reservoirs: a focus on Glen Elder Reservoir. Annual Meeting of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks-Fisheries Division, Wichita, Kansas. PLATFORM (INVITED)

Bernot, R. J., M. C. Quist, W. K. Dodds, and C. S. Guy. 2002. Spatial and temporal variation in water chemistry, phytoplankton, and zooplankton characteristics in Glen Elder Reservoir. Annual Meeting of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks-Fisheries Division, Wichita, Kansas. PLATFORM (INVITED)

Quist, M. C., C. S. Guy, R. J. Bernot, and J. L. Stephen. 2001. Seasonal variation in condition, growth, and food habits of walleyes in a Great Plains reservoir and simulated effects of an altered thermal regime. 63rd Annual Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, Des Moines, Iowa. POSTER

Quist, M. C. 2001. Relationships between walleyes and white crappies in Kansas reservoirs. The Wildlife Society, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas. PLATFORM (INVITED)

Quist, M. C., and C. S. Guy. 2000. Growth and recruitment of walleyes Stizostedion vitreum and interactions with white crappies Pomoxis annularis and gizzard shad Dorosoma cepedianum in reservoir systems. 26th Annual Forum for Student Research, Kansas State University, Division of Biology, Manhattan, Kansa. PLATFORM

Bernot, R. J., M. C. Quist, W. K. Dodds, and C. S. Guy. 2000. Temporal and spatial variability in zooplankton communities in Glen Elder Reservoir. 26th Annual Forum for Student Research, Kansas State University, Division of Biology, Manhattan, Kansas. PLATFORM

Quist, M. C., C. S. Guy, J. L. Stephen, and R. D. Schultz. 2000. Growth, mortality, and recruitment of walleyes and interactions with white crappies and gizzard shad in Kansas reservoirs. 25th Annual Meeting of the Kansas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, Manhattan, Kansas. PLATFORM

Quist, M.C., C.S. Guy, J.L. Stephen, and R.D. Schultz. 1999. Abundance of age-0 walleyes and interactions with gizzard shad, white crappie, black crappie, and adult walleyes in Kansas reservoirs. 61th Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference. Chicago, IL.

Quist, M. C., and C. S. Guy. 1999. The influence of military training activities on physicochemical habitat and fish community structure and function in Flint Hills streams. 24th Annual Meeting of the Kansas Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, Emporia, Kansas. PLATFORM.