Food Habits and Growth of Young-of-Year White Bass in Two East Tennessee Reservoirs

A total of 791 young-of-year white bass (Morone chrysops) from 2 East Tennessee reservoirs were examined to determine food habits and growth. An effort was made to determine when they switched from an insectivorous to a piscivorous diet. White bass in Cherokee Reservoir consumed primarily insects (Chironomidae) during their first year and in Norris Reservoir, primarily zooplankton (Cladocera). When they began consuming fish, young-of-year white bass in Cherokee Reservoir were between 2.5 and 5.0 cm in length while white bass in Norris Reservoir were between 5.0 and 7.5 cm. Numbers of fish consumed by white bass were analyzed as a percentage of numbers of all foods consumed, and as a percentage of foods occurring in the guts of all fish in the study. White bass grew larger (18.4 cm) in Norris than in Cherokee (14.0 cm) during their first year, although mean ,condition factors were similar in both reservoirs (Norris 0.67 to 1.1, Cherokee 0.86 to 1.21).

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