Prey-Predator Relations In Crooked Creek Bay. Barkley Lake. Kentucky

Available prey-predator ratios (API P) in Crooked Creek Bay indicated a deficiency of prey for predators (largemouth bass equivalents) 200 mm long (total length) or less. Analysis of samples collected after the application of rotenone to small coves led to overestimates of available prey. Application of adjustment factors to account for differences in fish distribution in coves and in open water improved AP/ P estimates based on small-cove samples. After reviewing previous food studies, we redefined crappies longer than 210 mm and catfishes longer than 390 mm as predators. Revised AP/ P calculations then indicated no shortage of prey in the Bay. Comparison of these data with those from a 1965 study in Douglas Lake, Tennessee, showed that predators in Douglas Lake were more efficient in cropping available prey. This higher efficiency might have been due to greater water clarity, lack of threadfin shad, or inefficient recovery of small clupeids in the deep, open waters of Douglas Lake.

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