Source: SOUTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY submitted to
PREDATOR-PREY RELATIONS IN NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS FISH COMMUNITIES
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
NEW
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0215291
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
SD00H254-08
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Oct 1, 2008
Project End Date
Sep 30, 2013
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Willis, D. W.
Recipient Organization
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY
PO BOX 2275A
BROOKINGS,SD 57007
Performing Department
Natural Resources
Non Technical Summary
Walleye and smallmouth bass are two primary sport fishes in many water bodies in the Northern Great Plains, and many anglers believe that competition between the two species may compromise walleye fishing success. Thus, we set up a combined study that included both a field and laboratory component. The field component will involve two years of monthly diet information collected from both walleye and smallmouth bass in Lake Sharpe, South Dakota. This information will allow us to look at seasonal trends in diet overlap. However, competition does not occur from a biological perspective unless food resources are limiting. Thus, we designed several laboratory experiments to assess the potential for competition. In one set of experiments, fathead minnows will serve as a limiting resource and growth will be measured for walleye and smallmouth bass under such conditions to see if one species seem to have an advantage over the other. In a separate set of experiments, we will attack rates, capture efficiency, and aggressive behaviors of walleye and smallmouth bass. A second objective of the study will be to determine the abundance of larval gizzard shad produced annually in large South Dakota reservoirs and relate larval abundance to climate, and reservoir operation. When available, gizzard shad are a highly desirable prey species for both walleye and smallmouth bass. The third objective of this study will involved the experimental introduction of pre-spawn, adult gizzard shad to two northeastern South Dakota glacial lakes. A third lake will serve as a "control" lake, meaning that gizzard shad adults will not be introduced. In this portion of the study, our intent is to assess the response of predatory walleyes to gizzard shad availability, and also to assess the potential for negative effects of gizzard shad on yellow perch. Gizzard shad seem to be moving northward with the potentially warming climate, and interactions between shad and yellow perch are poorly understood.
Animal Health Component
75%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
25%
Applied
75%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
13408191070100%
Knowledge Area
134 - Outdoor Recreation;

Subject Of Investigation
0819 - Natural fisheries, other;

Field Of Science
1070 - Ecology;
Goals / Objectives
Walleye and smallmouth bass are two primary sport fishes, and also top-level predators, in many water bodies in the Northern Great Plains. Yellow perch and gizzard shad are two primary prey fishes that commonly are consumed by the predatory fishes. Knowledge of the predator-prey relations among these species is essential for proper management of all four species. In addition, we do not know if competition exists between the two predatory fishes. Biologically, competition does not occur unless food resources are limiting. Thus, the objectives of this study are to 1) determine and contrast seasonal walleye and smallmouth bass diets and growth in a Missouri River reservoir in South Dakota to assess the likelihood for competition between the two species using empirical data and controlled laboratory experiments; 2) determine the abundance of larval gizzard shad produced annually in large South Dakota reservoirs and relate larval abundance to climate, reservoir operation, and walleye growth and condition; and 3) determine the extent of gizzard shad reproduction and recruitment, walleye population responses to shad introduction, and interactions between shad and yellow perch after annual introductions of pre-spawn, adult shad in two northeastern South Dakota glacial lakes. Completion of this project will allow appropriate management decisions for sympatric populations of walleye and smallmouth bass. For example, if competition exists between the two species, then regulations can be liberalized or tightened as appropriate to favor on not favor either predator. In addition, if global warming is occurring, then we can expect an increase in interactions between gizzard shad and yellow perch as the shad continue to move northward. The distribution of gizzard shad has indeed shifted northward in recent years, and thus we have to opportunity to not only study applied effect of an added prey species on walleye populations, but also the potential negative effect of a competitor (gizzard shad) on yellow perch. Thus, investigations into the interactions between gizzard shad and yellow perch are proactive in nature.
Project Methods
Walleye and smallmouth bass food habits were collected monthly from May through September at Lake Sharpe, a Missouri River mainstem reservoir, during calendar years 2007 and 2008. We also collected and aged sagittal otoliths during monthly food habits work. Seasonal patterns in growth for both species will be determined by calculating mean length at time of capture by cohort. We expect to obtain reasonable (i.e., precise) estimates of growth over the first several years of life for both walleye and smallmouth bass. Growth and water temperature data, combined with the food habits information, will allow us to use a bioenergetics model to estimate gizzard shad consumption by individual predatory fish. A series of controlled experiments will also be used to assess interactions between walleye and smallmouth bass. We will use growth as a surrogate for competition in one set of experiments wherein fathead minnows will be a limiting resource. Growth will be assessed for sympatric and allopatric walleye and smallmouth bass, and both predator size and diel period will be considered. A separate set of experiments will help determine the mechanism of competition. Walleye and smallmouth bass attack rates, capture efficiency, and agonistic behaviors will be quantified in allopatric and sympatric combinations. To address the second objective, we will continue a long-term data set for larval gizzard shad abundance using an ichthyoplankton trawl at Angostura, Sharpe, Francis Case, and Lewis and Clark reservoirs. The will be related to annual patterns in climate, reservoir operation, adult gizzard shad relative abundance, and walleye condition and growth. To address the third objective of this study, both larval and juvenile gizzard shad will be monitored in two treatment lakes in northeastern South Dakota. Walleye population responses to the annual stocking program of pre-spawn, adult gizzard shad will be monitored in two treatment lakes and one control lake using gill-net data from standard lake surveys. To ensure that a link can be established to any changes in walleye population characteristics, walleye food habits will be monitored in one of the two treatment lakes during late May, late July, and early September. Food-habits data will be used to estimate consumption of age-0 gizzard shad by individual predators of various sizes using the Wisconsin bioenergetics model. Potential interactions between gizzard shad and yellow perch will be monitored via stable isotope analysis. Our analysis will concentrate on comparisons of trophic position for both age-0 gizzard shad and yellow perch length groups by individual water, and potential changes in yellow perch isotopic signatures after gizzard shad introduction. Fish sampling will be conducted using nonlethal methods whenever possible. All procedures will follow the Guidelines for Use of Fishes in Field Research, which was approved by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, the American Fisheries Society, and the American Institute of Fisheries Research Biologists.

Progress 01/01/12 to 12/31/12

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Partner organizations for this research project include the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks, as well as support from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission that allows us to compare and contrast research results across state boundaries. By working with both groups simultaneously, we can advance knowledge for both organizations. We presented research results at an annual winter meeting with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and during summer and winter fisheries division meetings held by the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. In addition, students (both undergraduate and graduate) and professional scientists benefitted from the research results that we presented at state, regional, and international professional meetings. During the past year (2012), we presented 8 posters and 7 oral presentations on bluegill and yellow perch reproduction and recruitment, 1 oral presentation for gizzard shad, and 3 poster and 3 oral presentations on other prey species dynamics. Research efforts on prey fish dynamics supported 1 M.S. student and 2 Ph.D. students in 2011. One distinct target audience was South Dakota private landowners. Portions of the project relevant to private waters are disseminated via our departmental web page. In addition, 4 popular articles were published in Pond Boss magazine and 1 in In-Fisherman magazine. PARTICIPANTS: Participants included Dr. David Willis, former graduate student and now assistant professor Dr. Melissa Wuellner, former graduate student Justin VanDeHey, and graduate student Daniel Dembkowski under the primary project. Graduate student Mark Kaemingk was supported by complementary research funded by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Technicians included Donna Abler, Aaron Andrews, Jason Augspurger, David Bogner, Amy Kaemingk, Benjamin Meyerink, and Kris Stahr. Most of these individuals were undergraduate students, and substantial educational benefits are gained by these technicians. The work experience complements their educational process. Partner organizations included the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks, as well as the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Collaborators from the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks included Geno Adams, Dr. Brian Blackwell, Mark Ermer, Gene Galinat, Robert Hanten, Chris Longhenry, Bill Miller, Kyle Potter, and Jason Sorensen. Collaborators with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission include Zac Brashears, Andrew Glidden, and Dr. Richard Holland. Collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge in Nebraska occurs via Mark Lindvall. TARGET AUDIENCES: Target audiences include biologists with the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks and biologists with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. These two primary audiences are reached through attendance at and presentations at their fisheries division meetings. More indirectly, the audience includes the freshwater segment of the applied fisheries profession, which is reached through dissemination of information through poster and oral presentations at professional meetings, and publications in peer-reviewed journals. A distinct target audience is South Dakota private landowners. Portions of the project relevant to private waters are disseminated via our departmental web page and through popular magazines. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
The three objectives of this study were to 1) determine and contrast seasonal walleye and smallmouth bass diets and growth in a Missouri River reservoir in South Dakota to assess the likelihood for competition between the two species using empirical data and controlled laboratory experiments; 2) determine the abundance of larval gizzard shad produced annually in large South Dakota reservoirs and relate larval abundance to climate, reservoir operation, and walleye growth and condition; and 3) determine the extent of gizzard shad reproduction and recruitment, walleye population responses to shad introduction, and interactions between shad and yellow perch after annual introductions of pre-spawn, adult shad in two northeastern South Dakota glacial lakes. The smallmouth bass-walleye assessment was completed prior by 2010, and determined that diets of both predators in study lakes substantially overlapped only during late summer and early fall when age-0 gizzard shad were available for predation. Tank studies indicated that competition between smallmouth bass and walleye only occurred when prey rations were extremely limited, and even then only during daylight hours. We collected multiple years of larval gizzard shad abundance data across South Dakota. The timing and magnitude of larval gizzard shad abundance was highly variable within and between South Dakota waters, being highest but still highly variable in Missouri River reservoirs, moderate in western reservoirs, and lowest in eastern glacial lakes. We found no evidence of overwinter survival of juvenile or adult gizzard shad in northeastern South Dakota study lakes. Multiple studies have indicated that gizzard shad are a primary prey fish for walleyes when shad are present in a fish community. In glacial lakes, walleye growth and condition benefitted from gizzard shad introduction as expected, while no negative effects on yellow perch were found at the low shad densities that resulted from the adult stocking densities utilized in the study. Presentation and publication efforts continues for these studies.

Publications

  • Neal, J.W., and Willis, D.W., eds. 2012. Small impoundment management in North America, American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland, 451 p.
  • Neumann, R.M., Guy, C.S., and Willis, D.W. 2012. Length, weight, and associated structural indices, Chapter 14 In A.V. Zale, D.L. Parrish, and T.M. Sutton, eds, Fisheries Techniques, Third Edition. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland, p. 637-676.
  • Dembkowski, D.J., Willis, D.W., and Wuellner, M.R. (2012) Comparison of four types of sampling gears for estimating age-0 yellow perch density. J. Freshwater Ecol. 27:587-598.
  • Dembkowski, D.J., Wuellner, M.R., and Willis, D.W. (2012) Sampling glacial lake littoral fish assemblages with four gears. N. Am. J. Fish. Manage. 32:1160-1166.
  • Kaemingk, M.A., and Willis, D.W. (2012) Mensurative approach to examine potential interactions between age-0 yellow perch (Perca flavescens) and bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus). Aquatic Ecol. 46:353-362.
  • Kaemingk, M.A., Jolley, J.C., Willis, D.W., and Chipps, S.R. (2012) Priority effects among young-of-the-year fish: reduced growth of bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus) caused by yellow perch (Perca flavescens) Freshwater Biol. 57:654-665.
  • Schramm, H.L., Jr. and Willis, D.W. 2012. Assessment and harvest of largemouth bass-bluegill ponds, Chapter 7 In J.W. Neal and D.W. Willis (eds.), Small Impoundment Management in North America. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland, p. 181-213.
  • Shaw, S.L., Chipps, S.R., Windels, S.K., Webb, M.A.H., McLeod, D.T., and Willis, D.W. (2012) Lake sturgeon population attributes and reproductive structure in the Namakan Reservoir, Minnesota and Ontario. J. Applied Ich. 28:168-175.
  • VanDeHey, J.A., Willis, D.W., and Blackwell, B.G. (2012) Survival, reproduction, and recruitment of gizzard shad Dorosoma cepedianum at the northwestern edge of its native range. J. Freshwater Ecol. 27:41-53.
  • Willis, D.W., and Neal, J.W. 2012. Small impoundments and the history of their management, Chapter 1 In J.W. Neal and D.W. Willis (eds.), Small Impoundment Management in North America. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland, p. 3-20.


Progress 01/01/11 to 12/31/11

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Partner organizations for this research project include the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks, as well as support from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission that allows us to compare and contrast research results across state boundaries. By working with both groups simultaneously, we can advance knowledge for both organizations. We presented research results at an annual winter meeting with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and during summer and winter fisheries division meetings held by the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. In addition, students (both undergraduate and graduate) and professional scientists benefitted from the research results that we presented at professional meetings. During the past year (2011), we presented 6 posters and 5 oral presentations on bluegill and yellow perch reproduction and recruitment, and 5 posters for gizzard shad. Research efforts on prey fish dynamics supported 1 M.S. student and 3 Ph.D. students in 2011. One distinct target audience was South Dakota private landowners. Portions of the project relevant to private waters are disseminated via our departmental web page. In addition, 6 popular articles were published in Pond Boss magazine and 1 in the South Dakota Conservation Digest. PARTICIPANTS: Participants included Dr. David Willis, former graduate student and current faculty member Dr. Melissa Wuellner, and graduate students Justin VanDeHey and Daniel Dembkowski under the primary project. Graduate student Mark Kaemingk was supported by complementary research funded by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Technicians included Donna Abler, Jason Augspurger, Brianna Graff, Amy Kaemingk, Benjamin Meyerink, and Kris Stahr. Most of these individuals were undergraduate students, and substantial educational benefits are gained by these technicians. The work experience complements their educational process. Partner organizations included the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks, as well as the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Collaborators from the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks included Geno Adams, Dr. Brian Blackwell, Mark Ermer, Gene Galinat, Robert Hanten, Chris Longhenry, Bill Miller, Kyle Potter, and Jason Sorensen. Collaborators with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission include Zac Brashears, Andrew Glidden, and Dr. Richard Holland. Collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge in Nebraska occurs via Mark Lindvall. TARGET AUDIENCES: Target audiences include biologists with the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks and biologists with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. These two primary audiences are reached through attendance at and presentations at their fisheries division meetings. More indirectly, the audience includes the freshwater segment of the applied fisheries profession, which is reached through dissemination of information through poster and oral presentations at professional meetings, and publications in peer-reviewed journals. A distinct target audience is South Dakota private landowners. Portions of the project relevant to private waters are disseminated via our departmental web page and through popular magazines. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
The three objectives of this study were to 1) determine and contrast seasonal walleye and smallmouth bass diets and growth in a Missouri River reservoir in South Dakota to assess the likelihood for competition between the two species using empirical data and controlled laboratory experiments; 2) determine the abundance of larval gizzard shad produced annually in large South Dakota reservoirs and relate larval abundance to climate, reservoir operation, and walleye growth and condition; and 3) determine the extent of gizzard shad reproduction and recruitment, walleye population responses to shad introduction, and interactions between shad and yellow perch after annual introductions of pre-spawn, adult shad in two northeastern South Dakota glacial lakes. The smallmouth bass-walleye assessment was completed prior to 2011, and determined that diets of both predators in study lakes substantially overlapped only during late summer and early fall when age-0 gizzard shad were available for predation. Tank studies indicated that competition between smallmouth bass and walleye only occurred when prey rations were extremely limited, and even then only during daylight hours. We collected multiple years of larval gizzard shad abundance data across South Dakota. The timing and magnitude of larval gizzard shad abundance was highly variable within and between South Dakota waters, being highest but still highly variable in Missouri River reservoirs, moderate in western reservoirs, and lowest in eastern glacial lakes. We found no evidence of overwinter survival of juvenile or adult gizzard shad in northeastern South Dakota study lakes. Multiple studies have indicated that gizzard shad are a primary prey fish for walleyes when shad are present in a fish community. In glacial lakes, walleye growth and condition benefitted from gizzard shad introduction as expected, while no negative effects on yellow perch were found at the low shad densities that were present.

Publications

  • Bacula, T.D., Blackwell, B.G., and Willis, D.W. (2011) Seasonal sampling dynamics of smallmouth bass in northeastern South Dakota. J. Freshwater Ecol. 26:345-356.
  • Hoagstrom, C.W., Adams, W.E. Jr., Neumann, R.M., and Willis, D.W. (2011) Guide to the fishes of South Dakota. S. D. Depart. Game, Fish and Parks, Pierre. 70 pp.
  • Kaemingk, M.A., Jolley, J.C., Willis, D.W., and Graeb, B.D.S. (2011) Exploring spatial distributions of larval yellow perch Perca flavescens, bluegill Lepomis macrochirus, and their prey in relation to wind. J. Fish Biol. 78:1132-1151.
  • Phelps, A.E., Ward, M.J., and Willis, D.W. (2011) White bass population demographics in a northwestern South Dakota reservoir. J. Freshwater Ecol. 26:249-254.
  • Pierce, L.L., Graeb, B.D.S., Willis, D.W., Sorensen, J.S., and Pegg, M.A. (2011) Stocking success of paddlefish in Lake Francis Case, South Dakota: population characteristics and sport fishery potential. Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 140:1359-1369.
  • Wuellner, M.R., Willis, D.W., Lott, J.P., and Blackwell, B.G. (2011) Empirical assessment of potential interactions between walleye and smallmouth bass. J. Applied Ich. 27:1173-1180.
  • Wuellner, M.R., Graeb, B.D.S., Willis, D.W., Galster, B.J., Selch, T.M., and Chipps, S.R. (2011) Competitive interactions between walleye (Sander vitreus) and smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) under various controlled conditions. J. Freshwater Ecol. 26:299-314.


Progress 01/01/10 to 12/31/10

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Partner organizations for this research project include the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks, as well as support from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission that allows us to compare and contrast research results across state boundaries. We advanced knowledge for both groups because of comparisons we can make between the two geographic locations. We presented research results at an annual winter meeting with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, and during summer and winter fisheries division meetings held by the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. In addition, students (both undergraduate and graduate) and professional scientists benefitted from the research results that we presented at professional meetings. During the past year (2010), we presented 3 posters and 6 oral presentations on bluegill and yellow perch reproduction and recruitment, 1 presentation and 3 posters for gizzard shad, and 1 poster on potential competition between walleye and smallmouth bass. Research efforts on prey fish dynamics supported 2 M.S. students and 2 Ph.D. students in 2010. One distinct target audience was South Dakota private landowners. Portions of the project relevant to private waters are disseminated via our departmental web page. In addition, 6 popular articles were published in Pond Boss magazine. PARTICIPANTS: Participants included Dr. David Willis, former graduate student Melissa Wuellner, and graduate student Justin VanDeHey under the primary project. Graduate student Mark Kaemingk was supported by complementary research funded by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Technicians included Donna Abler, Nicholas Peterson, Kris Stahr, Cody Warner, and Eric Weeman. Most of these individuals were undergraduate students, although one had completed his B.S. degree. Substantial educational benefits are gained by these technicians, and the work experience complements their educational process. Partner organizations included the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks, as well as the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Collaborators from the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks included Geno Adams, Dr. Brian Blackwell, Mark Ermer, Gene Galinat, Robert Hanten, Chris Longhenry, Bill Miller, Kyle Potter, and Jason Sorensen. Collaborators with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission include Zac Brashears, Andrew Glidden, and Dr. Richard Holland. Collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge in Nebraska occurs via Mark Lindvall. TARGET AUDIENCES: Target audiences include biologists with the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks and biologists with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. These two primary audiences are reached through attendance at and presentations at their fisheries division meetings. More indirectly, the audience includes the freshwater segment of the applied fisheries profession, which is reached through dissemination of information through poster and oral presentations at professional meetings, and publications in peer-reviewed journals. A distinct target audience is South Dakota private landowners. Portions of the project relevant to private waters are disseminated via our departmental web page. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
The three objectives of this study were to 1) determine and contrast seasonal walleye and smallmouth bass diets and growth in a Missouri River reservoir in South Dakota to assess the likelihood for competition between the two species using empirical data and controlled laboratory experiments; 2) determine the abundance of larval gizzard shad produced annually in large South Dakota reservoirs and relate larval abundance to climate, reservoir operation, and walleye growth and condition; and 3) determine the extent of gizzard shad reproduction and recruitment, walleye population responses to shad introduction, and interactions between shad and yellow perch after annual introductions of pre-spawn, adult shad in two northeastern South Dakota glacial lakes. We completed two years of field data collection on smallmouth bass and walleye diets in Lake Sharpe, and determined that diets of both predators substantially overlapped only during late summer and early fall when age-0 gizzard shad were available for predation. Tank studies indicated that competition between smallmouth bass and walleye only occurred when prey rations were extremely limited, and even then only occurred during daylight hours. Overall, we found no empirical or laboratory evidence to suggest that smallmouth bass can displace walleyes from South Dakota waters unless water temperatures increase due to potential climate change. We have collected multiple years of larval gizzard shad abundance data, including the summer of 2010. However, we found no evidence of overwinter survival of juvenile or adult gizzard shad in northeastern South Dakota study lakes. Multiple prior studies have indicated that gizzard shad are a primary prey fish for walleyes when shad are present in a fish community. Walleye and yellow perch diets were monitored during 2009 and 2010, and these data are currently being analyzed. Standardized sampling continued in 2010 to determine potential effects of gizzard shad on walleye and yellow perch populations.

Publications

  • Ahrens, A.E., Schaeffer, T.W., Wuellner, M.R., and Willis, D.W. 2010. Population and diet assessment of white bass in Lake Sharpe, South Dakota. Prairie Nat. 42:130-137.
  • Dagel, J.D., Wuellner, M.R., and Willis, D.W. 2010. Channel catfish diets include substantial vegetation in a Missouri River reservoir. Prairie Nat. 42:1-7.
  • Graeb, B.D.S., Willis, D.W., Billington, N., Koigi, R.N., and VanDeHey, J.A. 2010. Age-structured assessment of walleyes, saugers, and naturally produced hybrids in three Missouri River reservoirs. N. Am. J. Fish. Manage. 30:887-897.
  • Jolley, J.C., Willis, D.W., and Holland, R.S. 2010. Match-mismatch regulation for bluegill and yellow perch larvae and their prey in Sandhill lakes. J. Fish Wildl. Manage. 1:73-85.
  • Murphy, B.R., Willis, D.W., Davis, M.L., and Graeb, B.D.S. 2010. Case studies in fisheries conservation and management: applied critical thinking and problem solving. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland. 252 p.
  • Murphy, B.R., Willis, D.W., Davis, M.L., and Graeb, B.D.S. 2010. Instructor guide to case studies in fisheries conservation and management: applied critical thinking and problem solving. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland. 478 p.
  • Peterson, N.R., VanDeHey, J.A., and Willis, D.W. 2010. Size and age at maturity of bluegill in southeastern South Dakota impoundments. J. Fresh. Ecol. 25:303-312.
  • Weber, M.J., Brown, M.L., and Willis, D.W. 2010. Spatial variability of common carp populations in relation to lake morphology and physicochemical parameters in the upper Midwest United States. Ecol. Fresh. Fish 19:555-565.
  • Willis, D.W, Lusk, R.D., and Slipke, J.W. 2010. Farm ponds and small impoundments, Chapter 16 In W.A. Hubert and M.C. Quist (ed), Inland Fisheries Management in North America, Third Edition. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland, p. 501-543.
  • Wuellner, M.R., Chipps, S.R., Willis, D.W., and Adams, W.E. Jr. 2010. Interactions between walleyes and smallmouth bass in a Missouri River reservoir with consideration of the influence of temperature and prey. N. Am. J. Fish. Manage. 30:445-463.


Progress 01/01/09 to 12/31/09

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Partner organizations for this research project include the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks, as well as support from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission that allows us to compare and contrast research results across state boundaries. We advanced knowledge for both groups because of comparisons we can make between the two geographic locations. We presented research results at annual winter meeting with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, and during fisheries division meetings held by the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. In addition, students (both undergraduate and graduate) and professional scientists benefitted from the research results that we presented at professional meetings. During the past year (2009), we presented 1 poster on yellow perch reproduction and recruitment, 1 oral presentation and 2 posters for bluegill, 1 poster for common carp, and 1 presentation and 1 poster for gizzard shad, and 4 presentations and 3 posters on potential competition between walleye and smallmouth bass. Research efforts on prey fish dynamics support 2 M.S. students and 3 Ph.D. students in 2009. One distinct target audience was South Dakota private landowners. Portions of the project relevant to private waters are disseminated via our departmental web page. In addition, 2 popular articles were published in Pond Boss magazine. PARTICIPANTS: Participants included Dr. David Willis, and graduate students Melissa Wuellner, Justin VanDeHey, Andrew Jansen, and Thomas Bacula under the primary project. Graduate students Jeff Jolley and Mark Kaemingk were supported by complementary research funded by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Technicians included Donna Abler, Gregory Douglas, Arron Husman, Brent Martens, Joseph McAllister, Paul McKenna, Nicholas Peterson, Justin Seibert, Cody Warner, Madeline Wedge, and Eric Weeman. Most of these individuals were undergraduate students, although a few had completed their B.S. degree. Substantial educational benefits are gained by these technicians, and the work experience complements their educational process. Partner organizations included the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks, as well as the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Collaborators from the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks included Geno Adams, Dr. Brian Blackwell, Mark Ermer, Gene Galinat, Robert Hanten, Chris Longhenry, Bill Miller, Kyle Potter, and Jason Sorensen. Collaborators with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission include Zac Brashears, Andrew Glidden, and Dr. Richard Holland. Collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge in Nebraska occurs via Mark Lindval. TARGET AUDIENCES: Target audiences include biologists with the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks and biologists with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. More indirectly, the audience includes the freshwater portion of the fisheries profession. A distinct target audience is South Dakota private landowners. Portions of the project relevant to private waters are disseminated via our departmental web page. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
The three objectives of this study were to 1) determine and contrast seasonal walleye and smallmouth bass diets and growth in a Missouri River reservoir in South Dakota to assess the likelihood for competition between the two species using empirical data and controlled laboratory experiments; 2) determine the abundance of larval gizzard shad produced annually in large South Dakota reservoirs and relate larval abundance to climate, reservoir operation, and walleye growth and condition; and 3) determine the extent of gizzard shad reproduction and recruitment, walleye population responses to shad introduction, and interactions between shad and yellow perch after annual introductions of pre-spawn, adult shad in two northeastern South Dakota glacial lakes. We completed two years of field data collection on smallmouth bass and walleye diets in Lake Sharpe, and determined that diets of both predators substantially overlapped only during late summer and early fall when age-0 gizzard shad were available for predation. Tank studies indicated that competition between smallmouth bass and walleye only occurred when prey rations were extremely limited. Under such conditions, smallmouth bass appeared to out-compete walleye except for crepuscular feeding trials where the walleye were superior competitors. Overall, we found no empirical or laboratory evidence to suggest that smallmouth bass can displace walleyes from South Dakota waters unless water temperatures increase due to potential climate change. We have collected multiple years of larval gizzard shad abundance data, including the summer of 2009. We will analyze these data during early 2010 to determine potential influences of weather patterns on gizzard shad abundance. Multiple prior studies have indicated that gizzard shad are a primary prey fish for walleyes, when shad are present in a fish community. The field study for objective 3 has been initiated. We collected pre-treatment data on the fish communities, and then pre-spawn adult gizzard shad were introduced into study lakes during the spring of 2008 and 2009. Standardized sampling will continue to determine effects of gizzard shad on walleye and yellow perch populations.

Publications

  • Bonar, S.A., Hubert, W.A., and Willis, D.W., editors. 2009. Standard methods for sampling North American freshwater fishes. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD. 335 pages.
  • Bonar, S.A., W.A. Hubert, and D.W. Willis. 2009. The North American freshwater fish standard sampling project: improving fisheries communication. Fisheries 34:340-344.
  • Graeb, B.D.S., Willis, D.W., and Spindler, B.D. 2009. Shifts in sauger spawning locations after 40 years of reservoir ageing: influence of a novel delta ecosystem in the Missouri River, USA. River Research and Applications 25:153-159.
  • Jansen, A.C., Graeb, B.D.S., and Willis, D.W. 2009. Effect of a simulated cold-front on hatching success of yellow perch eggs. J. Freshwater Ecology 24:651-655.
  • Jolley, J.C., Edwards, K.R., and Willis, D.W. 2009. Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) spawning periodicity and hatching duration in the Northern Great Plains, USA. J. Freshwater Ecology 24:29-38.
  • McDonald, J.E., Jr., Jenks, J.A., and Willis, D.W. 2009. The changing face of university wildlife programs. Pages 48-53 in Trans. 74th N. Am. Wildlife Nat. Resources Conf. Arlington, VA.
  • Willis, D.W., and Jenks, J.A. 2009. Does traditional wildlife and fisheries education have a place in the 21st century Pages 45-52 in Proc. 88th Meeting West. Assoc. Fish Wild. Agencies. Rapid City, SD.