Centrarchid Food Habits In A New And Old Reservoir During And Following Bass Spawning

Stomach contents were examined from 1,288 longear sunfish, 827 green sunfish, 1,099 bluegill, 246 largemouth bass, 144 smallmouthbass, and 304 spotted bass collected from shoreline areas of a reservoir in the process of filling and from one 15 years old, during and following bass spawning, 3 May-25 June, 1965. Young-of~the-year and bass 8.0 inches or more in length are not included. This study suggests that in the new reservoir the food supply was ample in relation to the centrarchid population demand. In the older reservoir the opposite was true, resulting in more efficient utiliz3ltion of all available foods, including appreciable quantities of bass eggs and young. However, availability was influenced to a marked extent by size of predators and prey as well as abundance. The result was food "skimming," whereby the larger fish usurped the tendipedids and large cladocerans, leaving only smaller prey available for newly hatched largemouth young.

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