Stomach Analysis Of Chain Pickerel (Esox Niger) Of South Central Florida

Alabama surveys indicate that the chain pickerel is undesirable because it preyed on harvestable species (1954, Annual Report Farm Ponds Project,. Auburn University, unpublished). An examination of pickerel stomach contents was conducted in South Central Florida to explore possibilities of using pickerel as a desirable predator. Specimens were collected from anglers, trammel nets, and electro-shocking. One hundred fifteen adult pickerel collected from seven lakes, Pierce, Francis, June in Winter, Henry, Kissimmee, Hatchineha, and Walk 'n Water, were examined. The data collected indicate the chain pickerel feed almost entirely on fish and quite heavily on centracrhids, such as bluegills. These data also show that although pickerel will consume harvestable game species, 79.55% of all organisms consumed were not harvestable game fish. Variety of prey, mode of specie consumed, and length frequency of prey to predator are discussed.

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