Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
Abstract – We measured the growth and mortality characteristics of northern pike (Esox lucius) in a northern Ontario river and examined the influence of flow on these characteristics by comparing our measurements with those estimated for a lake at the same latitude based on published studies. Pike ranged in total length from 229 to 784 mm, in mass from 70 to 4250 g, and in age from 1 to 10 years. The population showed a preponderance of 2–5-year olds, with few fish surviving beyond 7 years of age. Growth, in terms of length increase, was similar to that reported for circumpolar populations. Mean total length at 5 years of age was 577 mm, growth rate of young adults was 62.5 mm year−1, growth was isometric, longevity was 10 years of age, and the adult annual mortality rate was 49%. Growth and mortality characteristics of this riverine population were similar to those estimated for a lacustrine population at the same latitude. Flow thus had little measurable effect on the growth or mortality of pike possibly because of the overwhelming effect of other abiotic variables such as temperature, length of growing season and productivity. Consequently, growth characteristics of lacustrine populations can be used to assess the health and condition of riverine populations.
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