Bioenergetics modeling was used to assess the relative importance of food availability and water temperature in determining walleye (Sander vitreus) growth. Temperature regimes experienced by both female and male adult walleye in three basins of Lake Huron and in Lake Erie were determined by use of surgically implanted temperature loggers and acoustic telemetry. Temperatures experienced by walleye were higher in Lake Erie than in Lake Huron. Walleye from Lake Erie grew at nearly double the rate of walleye from Lake Huron, and mass at age for adult females averaged about 50% greater than that for adult males in both lakes. Food consumption rate for an average adult walleye in Lake Erie was nearly twice as high as that in Lake Huron. Interbasin and interlake variability in temperature regimes accounted for a moderate degree of variability in walleye growth. We concluded that the driver for faster growth in Lake Erie compared with Lake Huron was higher food availability in Lake Erie compared with Lake Huron. The sex difference in temperature regimes explained 15% of the sex difference in Lake Erie walleye growth.
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Department of Biology

Madenjian, C.P. (Charles P.), Hayden, T.A. (Todd A.), Peat, T.B. (Tyler B.), Vandergoot, C.S. (Christopher S.), Fielder, D.G. (David G.), Gorman, A.M. (Ann Marie), … Krueger, C.C. (Charles C.). (2018). Temperature regimes, growth, and food consumption for female and male adult walleye in lake huron and lake erie: A bioenergetics analysis. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 75(10), 1573–1586. doi:10.1139/cjfas-2017-0280