Reevaluating the Use of Acrylic Tubes for Collection of Largemouth Bass Stomach Contents

Stomach contents of 434 largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoidesfloridanus) were collected with clear acrylic tubes. Sixty-four percent of the bass contained food. No significant differences (P > 0.05) in percent recovery of food items by weight occurred among 3 biologists for the 6 size groups studied. Greater than 80% recovery by weight of all food was obtained with acrylic tubes in 6 size groups of bass ranging from 100 to 590mm TL. Seven percent of bass that yielded no food when sampled with tubes actually contained food. Appropriate tube size was important in efficient food extraction. Largemouth bass > 120 mm can be tubed easily and efficiently. Although considered an easy and efficient technique for largemouth bass> 120 mm TL, limitations involving fish size, prey size, and incomplete recovery should be considered when interpreting food habit data obtained by acrylic tubes.

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