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Becker, George C. / Fishes of Wisconsin

Trout-perch family - percopsidae,   pp. 739-744 PDF (2.4 MB)

Page 744

744   Trout-Perch Family-Percopsidae 
4-day period in mid-August, Wells noted a pro- 
nounced shift of the population into deeper water 
following a sudden increase in water temperature. 
  During early September 1977, trout-perch in Lake 
Michigan off Grand Haven, Michigan, were cap- 
tured more frequently at night than during the day 
(Brandt 1978). Data suggest that either the trout-perch 
were avoiding the bottom trawl during the day, or 
that extensive onshore-offshore migrations were oc- 
curring. During the day, trout-perch concentrated 
where water temperatures were greater than 15'C 
(59°F); the thermal distribution of trout-perch ex- 
panded at night to 7-18'C (44.6-64.4°F). 
  Fish species associated in Green Bay (Door County) 
with 98 trout-perch were: white sucker (1), alewife 
(3), creek chub (1), bluntnose minnow (5), fathead 
minnow (2), common shiner (3), blacknose shiner (1), 
spottail shiner (68), rainbow smelt (1), black bull- 
head (4), yellow perch (10), and fantail darter (1). 
Trout-perch are eaten by walleyes, northern pike, 
burbot, lake trout, brook trout, sauger, yellow perch, 
and freshwater drum. In Canada (Lawler 1954), 63 
trout-perch were found in the stomach of 1 northern 
pike. In Minnesota, sheepshead which moved into 
the trout-perch spawning streams contained as many 
as 19 trout-perch per fish (Magnuson and Smith 1963). 
In Lake Winnebago, fry of trout-perch were eaten by 
10- to 50-mm walleyes to a limited extent, and, along 
with the freshwater drum, were the most important 
forage consumed by 51- to 75-mm walleye finger- 
lings (Priegel 1970b). 
  The trout-perch makes its greatest contribution as 
major link in the food cycle of many waters. Al- 
though trout-perch are competitive with larger fish 
in that they occupy the same habitat and feed upon 
the same foods as the young of all the important game 
and food fishes, they have become a major source of 
food to many game fishes. 
  The trout-perch is readily taken on a hook baited 
with angleworms. It has sometimes been used as a 
  The fact that the trout-perch has large eggs, and 
that lake populations have a prolonged spawning 
period, suggests that this species may be useful in 
laboratory studies in which eggs are required-and, 
indeed, it has been used in a limited way for such 
studies (Scott and Crossman 1973). 
  In many waters, the trout-perch is a common part 
of the fish fauna. In Green Bay, where it is abundant, 
this species occurred in 32% of the drags, and its 
overall catch rate was 0.91 kg (2 lb) per drag. One 
large catch of 45 kg (100 lb) was made at 15 m off 
Sturgeon Bay (Reigle 1969a). In Lake Poygan the trout- 
perch constituted 53.4% of the catch; in Lake Winne- 
bago, 62.4% (Becker 1964b). In the Mississippi River, 
R. C. Nord (pers. comm., 1964) noted that fairly large 
numbers of trout-perch have been trawled in the vi- 
cinity of La Crosse and in Lake Pepin. However, in 
many waters populations fluctuate strongly from year 
to year. In Lake Winnebago (Priegel 1965), during July 
and August 1960, 208 and 155 fishes were captured 
per haul during the day, and 113 and 74 fish at night. 
During July and August 1961, the catch per haul of 
trout-perch decreased to 29 and 11 fish during the 
day and 9 fish at night. In Lake Superior streams the 
trout-perch is widespread, but its numbers fluctuate 

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