Date of Completion

2021

Document Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Wildlife and Fisheries Biology

Thesis Type

Honors College

First Advisor

Dr. J. Ellen Marsden

Second Advisor

Matthew Futia

Third Advisor

Dr. Brittany Mosher

Keywords

Lake Champlain, Sander vitreus, fish movement

Abstract

Walleye (Sander vitreus) are an important species due to their ecological and societal value and roles as a top predator and a popular sport fish in freshwater ecosystems. In Lake Champlain, historic data and recent assessments indicate that walleye abundance has been declining for over 60 years, potentially due to habitat fragmentation by causeways, recreational and commercial fishing pressure, and egg and larval predation by invasive species. The decline of wild walleye in Lake Champlain is ongoing and poorly understood, so more research about spawning movements, among other ecological knowledge, can contribute to management of the population to inform and guide decisions. Specifically, questions related to home range, inter-seasonal movement, site fidelity, and causeway obstructions can contribute to understanding of walleye movement ecology and address the decline of wild walleye in the lake. Twenty-five individual walleye were tagged with acoustic transmitters and cumulatively detected over 253,000 times from 2014 through 2019. Based on acoustic detection data, walleye in Lake Champlain appear to have a limited home range based on their original tagging location, the majority of walleye are loyal to spawning sites, walleye move less and shorter distances in the winter and spawning seasons compared to the feeding season, and some causeways retard, but do not prevent, seasonal and spawning movement.

Comments

The full contents of this thesis are available only in the Honors College office.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Available for download on Sunday, November 13, 2022

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