Comparative Food Habits and Habitat Preference of Age-O Largemouth Bass and Yellow Perch in West Point Lake, Alabama-Georgia

Yellow perch, Perca flavescens, and largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides, segregated both spatially and by food choice throughout most of their first year. During the summer, largemouth bass inhabitated mainly vegetated areas and soft silt and sandy areas, whereas yellow perch preferred soft silt, sand, and hard clay areas. Both species shared a common invertebrate diet until mid-summer. Largemouth bass consumed small fishes late in the growing season while yellow perch continued to consume only invertebrates. Largemouth bass were longer and weighed more than yellow perch at the end of the summer. Examination of diet overlap by the Schoener index suggested slight overlap in May (0.26) and June (0.29) for largemouth bass and yellow perch 25 to 49 mm long. High littoral water temperatures (>30° C) in summer may spatially segregate yellow perch from both largemouth bass and small fishes that inhabit littoral areas.

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10146