Seasonal Biomass of Selected Centrarchids in Degray Lake, Arkansas, 1977-79

Seasonal biomass estimates of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus ), and longear sunfish (L. megalotis ) were made during 3 growing seasons (1977 - 79) by cove rotenone sampling in May, June, August and September. Substantial mortality of young-of-the-year (YOY) largemouth bass during late summer suggests that this period was critical in determining year-class strength. Overwinter mortality was 88, 87, and 71%for the 1977-, 1978and 1979-year classes, respectively. Biomass of bluegill increased from May to August and decreased in September, probably as a result of predation. Biomass of longear sunfish was lowest in June and peaked in September in 2 of the 3 growing seasons. Longear sunfish seem to feed more in littoral areas than do bluegills, and are therefore probably more susceptible than bluegills to early summer predation by largemouth bass, and less susceptible than bluegills to late summer predation.

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