Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Wisconsin Fishery
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Wisconsin Fishery Project

Walleye and Yellow Perch in Northern Wisconsin Lakes: Recruitment Trends and Importance of Perch as Prey for Larval and Post-Larval Walleye

May 2021 - June 2023


Participating Agencies

  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Some lakes in northern Wisconsin that previously sustained natural Walleye recruitment have exhibited declines in recruitment over the past two decades. Recent data have suggested that Yellow Perch and Walleye recruitment are affected by similar environmental factors, but declining trends in Yellow Perch recruitment success may have gone undetected due to lack of targeted sampling. Additionally, a lower abundance of juvenile Yellow Perch could be related to Walleye recruitment success. The objectives of this study are to determine if the following differ between lakes with different Walleye recruitment histories (sustained vs. declined): 1) density and spatial distribution of zooplankton prey; 2) relative importance of larval Yellow Perch and zooplankton to larval and post-larval Walleye diets; and 3) trends in age-0 Yellow Perch abundance. Sampling occurred in 2021 and will continue in 2022 using several different gears to target Walleye and Yellow Perch in their first few months of life.

Presentations Presentation Date
Isermann, D. A., A. Gillem, D. Dembkowski, J. Hennessy, and A. Latzka. August 2022. Walleye and Yellow Perch Recruitment in Northern Wisconsin Lakes: Recruitment Trends and Importance of Perch as Prey for Larval Walleye. Treaty Working Group Meeting, virtual. August 2022
Gillem, A. K., D. A. Isermann, D. J. Dembkowski, J. M. Hennessy, and A. W. Latzka. February 2022. Walleye and yellow perch in Northern Wisconsin Lakes: Recruitment trends and importance of perch as prey for larval and post-larval walleye. 82nd Annual Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference. Des Moines, Iowa. February 2022