Skip to main content

Exploring the ecological mechanisms underlying the recruitment of smallmouth bass in Lake Erie

Below is a summary of the important findings:    The round goby was observed as a predator of unguarded smallmouth   bass embryos.    Round gobies were not seen consuming free-swimming larvae smallmouth   bass.  In over   1  hours of observation, we only observed one case where a round   goby may have   consumed an offspring from a guarded nest.  When anglers removed   nest-guarding   smallmouth bass, round gobies quickly entered the nest and could   consume an entire   brood in approximately 15 min.  During a typical catch-and-release   event round gobies   consumed between 4  -2,    offspring (dependent on offspring stage   and measurement   technique), or about 35% of the total brood.    Round gobies have increased the frequency of chases by nest-guarding   smallmouth bass   in Lake Erie.  Increased chase frequency may have increased the   energetic expenditure of   nest-guarding smallmouth bass.  Surprisingly, nest-guarding   smallmouth bass did not   consume many round gobies while defending their nests, so the   potential increased cost   of parental care was not offset.  High growth rates in Lake Erie may   ameliorate some cost   of parental care.    Using maximum likelihood models, we concluded that storms and   angling reduced   smallmouth bass nest survival in Lake Erie.  Exposure to either of   these events reduced   daily nest survival by approximately  . 5.  Predation by round   gobies during angling did   not reduce nest survival.  Optimality modeling suggested that   smallmouth bass in Lake   Erie may be reluctant to abandon even small broods.  In other   systems, however,   smallmouth bass may be more prone to abandonment and predation on   offspring during   angling may reduce nest success.    We simulated smallmouth bass offspring production under a variety of   angling restrictions   and determined that catch-and-release angling is a good management   strategy to   increase juvenile production of smallmouth bass in Lake Erie.    Establishing a sanctuary was   equal in effectiveness to a catch-and-release fishery, but a 14-  minimum size limit were   less effective, as was a seasonal closure in only May.  Prohibiting   angling during the month   of June resulted in slightly higher offspring production than a   catch-and-release   regulation.

In progress
Start Date
End Date
Roy SteinResearcher
Associated with 2 projects
Elizabeth MarschallResearcher
Associated with 3 projects
Ohio DNR $ 455,000.00USDEstimates

Funding 3 projects for a total of $455,000.00
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Impact of Pollutants
Exotic Species
Natural Ecological Processes
Natural Physical/Geological Processes
Resource Management
Lake Basin Connecting Channels
Lake Erie
State Province
Biology And Life History
Physiology and Behavior
Ecosystem Effects
Predator / Prey Interactions
Annex Numbers
Research & Development
Annex 17
Impact of water quality and AIS on fish and wildlife populations and habitats
  • Annex Numbers
    Annex Numbers
    Research & Development
  • Annex 17
    Annex 17
    Impact of water quality and AIS on fish and wildlife populations and habitats

The Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Research Inventory is an
interactive, Internet-based, searchable database created as a tool to collect and disseminate
up-to-date information about research projects in the
Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Region.