Relative Size Relationship In Prey Selection By Largemouth Bass In West Point Lake, Alabama-Georgia

Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) are able to feed on relatively large prey. The relative size of prey, calculated as the ratio of prey length (or weight) to .predator length (or weight), changed only slightly witb increasing size of largemouth bass. Bluegills (Lepomis macrochirus), gizzard shad (Dorsoma cepedianum), and threadfin shad (D. petenense) were the most common fisbes consumed by largemouth bass in West Point Lake. Bluegills were more often eaten by small largemouth bass (3 to 15 cm TL), while shad were eaten by larger ones ( > 15 I'm TL). Regression equations for the sizes of bluegills and shad that largemouth hass consumed were calculated to p,"edict the average size of prey for different sizes oflargemouth bass. Largemouth bass could swallow bluegills at 0.4 times their length or shad at 0.5 times their length. The equations of Lawrence (1958) were corroborated by our study of size - selective predation in largemouth bass from West Point Lake.

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