Performance Comparison between Coppemose and Native Texas Bluegill Populations

Growth, survival, and catchability of non-native coppernose bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus purpurescens) were compared to that of common bluegill (L. macrochirus) from East (Neches River system) and West (Rio Grande system) Texas populations. The 3 types of bluegills were stocked together (each identifiable by coded-wire tags) into 4 0.25- ha hatchery ponds. Bluegill types were evaluated with and without an established fish community present at age 1 and 2. Coppernose bluegill were larger (i.e., length and weight) than East or West Texas bluegills, regardles of fish community presence. Coppernose bluegill y-o-y survival was higher than East or West Texas bluegills in the presence of a fish community. Survival did not differ among bluegill types regardless of fish community presence in age 2. Catchability was similar among bluegill types, except for lower catchability of age-2 coppernose bluegill without a fish community present. Coppernose bluegill might improve quality of selected fisheries because of their larger sizes. However, any management plan should weigh merits of bluegill type selection before introduction.

Starting page
196
Ending page
206
ID
11268