Life History of the Redbreast Sunfish in the Satilla River, Georgia

Life history data were collected from redbreast sunfish. Lepomis Quritus (Linnaeus). in the Satilla River between 1 July 1970 and 30 June 1973, Spawning was observed in the Little Satilla River during May and June at water temperatures from 22.2°-24.4°C. Strong site preference was evident. Nests were associated with fallen trees, stumps. or logs. The average nest diameter was 93.5 em and the preferred substrate was sand. Sex ratio was I male to 1.49 females. Fecundity estimates ranged from 322 to 9206 ova per female around a mean of 3302 ova. Fecundity increased with both length and weight. Average calculated total lengths at annulus I through VII were 59, 90, 125. 153. 181, 205, and 222 mm, respectively. The length-weight relationship of all redbreast examined was log W=-5.2810+3.2368 log L (r=.9759). Redbreast from the upper river were heavier per given length than specimens from the lower river. The length-weight relationship of male redbreast sunfish differed significantly from that of females in both the upper and lower reaches of the river. Major food items were terrestrial and aquatic insects.

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