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Yellow perch (Perca flavescens) stock structure in Lake Michigan: an analysis using mark–recapture data

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To evaluate the stock structure of yellow perch (Perca flavescens) in the southern basin of Lake Michigan and in Green Bay, we analyzed recaptures from a lake-wide mark–recapture study implemented from 1996 to 2001 to infer the range and pattern of movement and spawning-site fidelity. Yellow perch generally moved south along the western shoreline, west along the southern shoreline, and north along the eastern shoreline during summer and non-summer months; the magnitude of movement was greater after spawning. Spawning yellow perch frequently returned to the same site, with 35%–80% of recaptured individuals returning to their marking site. Results from multiple tagging sites within Illinois indicated that spawners may return to larger areas rather than to specific sites, suggesting that large spawning complexes exist. Despite strong fidelity in some areas, straying was evident from all sites during spawning, resulting in mixing throughout the southern basin. Such mixing could promote gene flow and diminish stock differentiation. Dispersal of yellow perch within the southern basin of Lake Michigan occurred regularly across adjacent management boundaries. Therefore, adjacent jurisdictions may wish to consider re-examining their regulations based on this information to ensure consistent, complementary regulations that incorporate the movement patterns of yellow perch.

Afin d’évaluer la structure du stock de perchaudes (Perca flavescens) dans le bassin sud du lac Michigan et dans Green Bay, nous avons analysé les recaptures provenant d’une étude de marquage et de recapture menée sur l’ensemble du lac en 1996–2001; nous en avons déduit l’étendue de la répartition et les patrons de déplacement, ainsi que la fidélité au site de fraye. Les perchaudes se déplacent généralement vers le sud le long de la rive ouest, vers l’ouest le long de la rive sud et vers le nord le long de la rive est durant les mois d’été et durant les autres mois; l’amplitude des déplacements est plus grande après la fraye. Les perchaudes en reproduction retournent souvent au même site de fraye, 35%–80% des individus recapturés étant retournés à leur site de marquage. Les résultats obtenus dans des sites multiples de marquage en Illinois indiquent que les reproducteurs peuvent retourner vers des endroits plus étendus que les sites spécifiques, ce qui laisse croire qu’il existe des complexes élargis de fraye. Malgré la forte fidélité à certains régions, il y a des indications d’errance dans tous les sites durant la fraye, ce qui cause des mélanges dans tout le bassin sud. Ce mélange pourrait favoriser le flux génique et réduire la différenciation des stocks. Il y a une dispersion régulière des perchaudes au sein du bassin sud entre les limites des différentes zones adjacentes de gestion. C’est pourquoi d’après ces renseignements, les administrations adjacentes pourraient vouloir réexaminer leurs règlements afin de s’assurer d’avoir des réglementations compatibles et complémentaires qui tiennent compte des déplacements des perchaudes.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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