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Feeding ecology of larval and juvenile American shad (Alosa sapidissima) in a small pond

January 1, 1996

Release ponds are used as part of a multifacet effort to restore American shad (Alosa sapidissima) in the upper Susquehanna River basin. Little information exists, however, on the feeding ecology of young shad in small ponds. Consequently, we examined feeding ecology and prey selection of 299 larval and 299 juvenile American shad in a small pond during spring and summer. Larval shad mainly consumed copepods (37.7%) and cladocerans (37.4%) whereas juvenile shad ate chironomids (43.1%) and ostracods (28.4%). Larval and juvenile shad exhibited diel variation in diet composition and feeding periodicity. Food consumption by shad was minimal at night; feeding activity was highest during the day, peaking at 2000 h for both larvae and juveniles. Electivity values of shad larvae for prey taxa were highest for cladocerans (+0.27) and lowest for ostracods (−0.07). Electivity values of juvenile shad were highest for chironomids (+ 0.21) and ostracods (+ 0.09), and lowest for copepods (− 0.08) and baetids (− 0.14). Our data indicate differences in diet composition, prey preference and, to a lesser extent, feeding patterns between larval and juvenile American shad in small pond environments.

Publication Year 1996
Title Feeding ecology of larval and juvenile American shad (Alosa sapidissima) in a small pond
DOI 10.1111/j.1439-0426.1996.tb00052.x
Authors J. H. Johnson, D. S. Dropkin
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Applied Ichthyology
Index ID 1014919
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Leetown Science Center