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Lake Michigan surface area is 22,400 square miles and its main depth is 276 ft. Its fauna is generally typical of North American oligotrophic lakes. The original fish populations included 10 coregonines and one salmonine. The lake whitefish, the lake herring, and the lake trout were most abundant. Man's activities have caused great changes in the lake in the past 120 years. Although changes in water chemistry and in the lower biota have been generally modest (except locally), those in salmonid communities have been vast. Exploitation, exotic fish species (especially the sea lamprey and alewife), and accelerated eutrophication and other pollution, all have played a role in bringing about the modifications (mostly...
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The vertical migration of the amphipod Pontoporeia affinis in Lake Michigan has been well documented by Wells, Marzolf, and McNaught and Hasler. Wells and Marzolf observed Pontoporeia off bottom only at night. McNaught and Hasler, however, found Pontoporeia above the bottom shortly after noon in a 24-hr study on 12 June 1965, and some individuals were taken just below the thermocline in all daylight hours in a similar study on 19-20 August. This paper presents evidence that Pontoporeia regularly were present above bottom during the day from April-August 1964. The data for this report were collected during a study of seasonal and depth distribution of larval bloaters (Coregonus hoyi) in Lake Michigan. Sampling was...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Limnology and Oceanography
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Lake trout were collected in graded-mesh gill nets and forage fishes were collected in trawls in mid December 1981 and late March 1982. The length ranges of 317 lake trout caught in December and 138 in March were 280-767 and 286-857 mm, and the age ranges I-XI and II-XIV, respectively. Three year classes (1977-79) made up almost 80% of the catches of lake trout in both sampling periods. Lake trout were most abundant at depth of 18 to 37 m in December (water temperatures, 5.5-6.8A?C) and at 2864 m in March (water temperatures, 1.0-1.3A?C). Fish of the 1977-79 year classes completed 9 to 24% of their annual growth in length, and 14 to 39% of their growth in weight, between mid December and late March. Lake trout ate...
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The zooplankton populations in southeastern Lake Michigan underwent striking, size-related changes between 1954 and 1966. Forms that decline sharply were the largest cladocerans (Leptodora kindtii, Daphnia galeata, and D. retrocurva), the largest calanoid copepods (Limnocalanus macrurus, Epischura lacustris, and Diaptomus sicilis), and the largest cyclopoid copepod (Mesocyclops edax). Two of these, D. galeata and M. edax (both abundant in 1954), became extremely rare. Certain medium-sized or small species increased in numbers: Daphnia longiremis, Holopedium gibberum, Polyphemus pediculus, Bosmina longirostris, Bosmina coregoni, Ceriodaphnia sp., Cyclops bicuspidatus, Cyclops vernalis, and Diaptomus ashlandi. Evidence...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Limnology and Oceanography
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Deepwater ciscoes (Coregonus spp.) or "chubs" of Lake Michigan far surpassed those of Lake Huron in yield, population density, and resilience following severe depletion in the 1960s and 1970s, when the bloater (C. hoyi) composed more than 90% of the stocks. The population decline of bloaters in recent decades was mainly attributed to exploitation, to the depression of chub recruitment (e.g. from inferred predation on early life stages) by nonendemic alewives (Alosa pseudoharengus) and rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax), and to complications arising from extreme female predominance that was best documented for Lake Michigan. The various interactions between bloaters and the nonendemic species, which were intensified...
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Data collected during successive years (1971-79) of sampling lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) in Lake Michigan were used to develop statistics on lake trout growth, maturity, and mortality, and to quantify seasonal lake trout food and food availability. These statistics were then combined with data on lake trout year-class strengths and age-specific food conversion efficiencies to compute production and forage fish consumption by lake trout in Lake Michigan during the 1979 growing season (i.e., 15 May-1 December). An estimated standing stock of 1,486 metric tons (t) at the beginning of the growing season produced an estimated 1,129 t of fish flesh during the period. The lake trout consumed an estimated 3,037 t...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Technical Paper
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In southeastern Lake Michigan spottail shiners in samples ranged from ages 0 to V, but most were in age groups I-IV. In the Kalamazoo River (a tributary of southeastern Lake Michigan) age group II was commonest in the catches, and no fish older than age IV were sampled. In western Lake Erie, most shiners were in age groups 0-II, and none were older than age IV. Mortality of males was much higher than that of females after age II in Lake Michigan and after age I in Lake Erie. Growth of spottail shiners was fastest in western Lake Erie (125 mm at the end of the third year, sexes combined) and slowest (77 mm) in the Kalamazoo River; in all three waters growth declined rapidly after the first year. Females grew faster...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Research Report
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This study is based on systematic seasonal bottom trawling between 3 and 50 fathoms (5.5 and 91.5 m.) from February to November 1964 and supplementary information from other experimental fishing at additional depths and with other gear. The seasonal depth distribution of eight common species is described, and temperature relations are discussed. Catch records for less common species are mentioned briefly. Alewives are mostly pelagic during their first 2 years, but many young of the year are on the bottom in the fall, and yearlings occasionally descend to the bottom in substantial numbers in the spring and fall. Adults are mostly on the bottom in the winter and spring, but a significant portion of the population...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Fishery Bulletin
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This study was based mainly on gill-net collections of yellow perch (Perca flavescens) made during July and August 1971-79, in southern Lake Michigan at Grand Haven, Saugatuck, South Haven, Benton Harbor, and New Buffalo, Michigan; Michigan City and Gary, Indiana; Waukegan, Illinois; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Abundance of yellow perch was above the 1971-79 average in 1971 and 1972, below average in 1979, and about average or in doubt in the other years. Abundance during 1976-79 was greatest at Saugatuck and decreased more or less progressively from Saugatuck southward and around the southern end of the lake. The geographical differences in abundance were attributable partly to differences in fishing mortality. Average...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Technical Paper
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Stomachs were examined from 1,469 Lake Michigan bloaters, Coregonus [Leucichthys] hoyi, greater than 7 inches long which contained identifiable food. An additional 461 ciscoes less than 7 inches long were incorporated into the study; these latter fish were not positively identified, but most of them undoubtedly were bloaters. The specimens were caught in bottom nets except for 49, all less than 6 inches long, taken in midwater trawls. Lake Michigan bloaters under 7 inches long depend heavily on zooplankton. Those larger than 7 inches feed predominantly on Pontoporeia affinis and Mysis relicta, although fish of the 7.0- to 7.9-inch size range commonly eat zooplankton, expecially in shallower water. Generally, Mysis...
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Lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) was exterminated in Lake Michigan by the mid-1950s as a result of the combined effects of an intensive fishery and predation by the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus). The widespread application of lampricide in tributary streams had greatly reduced the abundance of lampreys by the early 1960s, and a program to restore self-sustaining populations of lake trout through stocking of yearlings and fingerlings was initiated in 1965. Although the hatchery-reared fish spawned widely in Lake Michigan each year after 1970, no progeny were observed except in an isolated area in Grand Traverse Bay. During 1971–78, sea lamprey abundance was generally greater in Wisconsin than in other parts of...
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Stomachs of 1,064 alewives (Alosa pseudoharengus), 1,103 yellow perch (Perca flavescens), 246 spottail shiners (Notropis hudsonius), 288 trout-perch (Percopsis omiscomaycus), 454 slimy sculpins (Cottus cognatus), and 562 fourhorn sculpins (Myoxocephalus quadricornis) from Lake Michigan were examined for food contents. Fish were sampled primarily from March to November and nearly all were caught at the bottom in the southeastern part of the lake near Saugatuck, Michigan. Depths of capture (m) were: alewives, 5 to 110; yellow perch, 5 to 26; spottail shiners, 5 to 31; trout-perch, 9 to 46; slimy sculpins, 31 to 91; and fourhorn sculpins, 73 to 110. Alewives, particularly those less than 140 mm long, fed chiefly on...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Technical Paper
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In the early and mid-1960s the abundance of yellow perch (Perca flavescens) in Lake Michigan declined abruptly. The decline began in the northern part of the lake and spread progressively southward. Circumstantial evidence suggests that the nonnative alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), by interfering with perch reproduction, was the primary cause of the decline. The alewife was first reported in northeastern Lake Michigan in 1949, and had become extremely abundant throughout the lake before an enormous die-off in 1967 reduced its numbers by an estimated 70%. An intensive fishery hastened the decline of perch. In most areas the decline was immediately preceded by a period of conspicuously high commercial production....
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Gill nets and trawls were fished by the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries R/V Cisco during September 19-23, 1964, at several locations and depths in the offshore United States waters of Lake Ontario. Water temperatures were low (3.7-8.3 A?C) at all fishing stations except one (16.4 A?C). Supplementary data were provided by the Bureau's R/V Kaho in 1966. Alewives and smelt were common. Ciscoes were extremely scarce, but large; most of those caught were bloaters. Slimy sculpins were abundant, but no deepwater sculpins were caught. Yellow perch were scarce. Although the warm water species were inadequately sampled, trout-perch seemed to be abundant. Other species, all caught in small numbers, were lake trout, spottail...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Technical Report
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Larvae of bloaters (Coregonus hoyi) were sampled systematically in southeastern Lake Michigan, off Saugatuck, Michigan, from 9 April to 22 August 1964; limited additional sampling was done on 15 October. All collections were made with a 1-m plankton net of 0.66-mm mesh. A standard series of samples consisted of oblique tows for each 10-fathom (sometimes 5-fathom) stratum over bottom depths from 5 to 50 fathoms by 5-fathom intervals. Some additional oblique tows were made at 60, 70, 80, and 88 fathoms, and a single day-night series of horizontal tows was made at 40 fathoms. Few bloater larvae were taken when sampling began in early April. Numbers increased steadily thereafter until late June and early July, after...
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Growth of trout-perch (Percopsis omiscomaycus) in the first 2 years of life was somewhat slower in southeastern Lake Michigan (average length at end of second year, 83 mm) than in Lower Red Lake, Minnesota (90 mm), but considerably faster than in Lake Superior (58 mm); size differences in later years were slightly less pronounced. Young fish began growing earlier in the year (some before June 20) than older ones (as late as August). Females tended to live longer than males, as they do in Lower Red Lake and Lake Superior. Trout-perch spawned from late June or early July until late September, somewhat later than in Lower Red Lake (May to August) or Lake Erie (June to August). Fecundity was similar to that in Lake...
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U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fishery Bulletin no. 172
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Fishery Bulletin
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Stomachs of 1, 064 alewives (Alosa pseudoharengus), 1, 103 yellow perch (Perca flavescens), 246 spottail shiners (Notropis hudsonius), 288 trout-perch (Percopsis omiscomaycus), 454 slimy sculpins (Cottus cognatus), and 562 fourhorn sculpins (Myoxocephalus quadricornis) from Lake Michigan were examined for food contents. Fish were sampled primarily from March to November and nearly all were caught at the bottom in the southeastern part of the lake near Saugatuck, Michigan. Depths of capture (m) were: alewives, 5 to 110; yellow perch, 5 to 26; spottail shiners, 5 to 31; trout-perch, 9 to 46; slimy sculpins, 31 to 91; and fourhorn sculpins, 73 to 110. Alewives, particularly those less than 140 mm long, fed chiefly...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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Man's activities have caused great changes in Lake Michigan in the past 120 years. Although changes in water chemistry and lower biota have been generally modest (except locally), those in native fish stocks have been vast. Exploitation, exotic fish species, and eutrophication and other forms of pollution all have played a role in bringing about the changes (mostly declines in abundance) in fish populations. Exploitation resulted in a noticeable reduction in abundance of certain native species (especially whitefish) soon after the establishment of the commercial fishery in the 1840's. By the 1930's the sturgeon and the two largest deepwater ciscoes (Coregonus nigripinnis and C. johannae) became severely depleted....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Technical Report


    map background search result map search result map Population biology of yellow perch in southern Lake Michigan, 1971-79 Population biology of yellow perch in southern Lake Michigan, 1971-79