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

Wisconsin Fishery Project

Largemouth bass in Wisconsin lakes: potential dietary interactions with walleyes

September 2011 - December 2013


Participating Agencies

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison

Largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides abundance has increased in many northern Wisconsin lakes over the last decade and this has caused some concern for anglers and biologists due to potential negative interactions with other popular sportfish such as walleyes Sander vitreus. A previous FAC analysis (Repp 2012), showed evidence of negative interactions between largemouth bass and walleyes, but the mechanisms behind these interactions remain unknown, Furthermore, it is unclear as to what environmental factors may have contributed to increased bass abundance in many lakes. Our primary objectives for this study are to determine if: 1) hatch timing affects growth and survival of age-0 largemouth bass in Wisconsin lakes; 2) determine if timing of piscivory could affect growth and survival of age-0 bass and 3) determine if largemouth bass prey on walleye or if diet overlap occurs between the two species. Currently, we are obtaining largemouth bass and walleye diets from two northern Wisconsin lakes and we are collecting age-0 largemouth bass from several lakes across the state for estimation of hatch dates. Sampling will continue through the summer of 2014. This project is funded by the USGS and represents a collaborative effort among the FAC, Wisconsin DNR, the Center for Limnology at UW-Madison and the Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit at UWSP.

Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Kelling, C.J. August 2014. Largemouth bass in Wisconsin: dietary interactions with walleyes and factors regulating first-year growth and diet. M.S. Thesis. University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. 59 p. August 2014