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Growth characteristics and Otolith analysis on Age-0 American Shad

May 1, 2011

Otolith microstructure analysis provides useful information on the growth history of fish (Campana and Jones 1992, Bang and Gronkjaer 2005). Microstructure analysis can be used to construct the size-at-age growth trajectory of fish, determine daily growth rates, and estimate hatch date and other ecologically important life history events (Campana and Jones 1992, Tonkin et al. 2008). This kind of information can be incorporated into bioenergetics modeling, providing necessary data for estimating prey consumption, and guiding the development of empirically-based modeling scenarios for hypothesis testing. For example, age-0 American shad co-occur with emigrating juvenile fall Chinook salmon originating from Hanford Reach and the Snake River in the lower Columbia River reservoirs during the summer and early fall. The diet of age-0 American shad appears to overlap with that of juvenile fall Chinook salmon (Chapter 1, this report), but juvenile fall Chinook salmon are also known to feed on age-0 American shad in the reservoirs (USGS unpublished data). Abundant, energy-dense age-0 American shad may provide juvenile fall Chinook salmon opportunities for rapid growth during the time period when large numbers of age-0 American shad are available. Otolith analysis of hatch dates and the growth curve of age-0 American shad could be used to identify when eggs, larvae, and juveniles of specific size classes are temporally available as food for fall Chinook salmon in the lower Columbia River reservoirs. This kind of temporally and spatially explicit life history information is important to include in bioenergetics modeling scenarios. Quantitative estimates of prey consumption could be used with spatially-explicit estimates of prey abundance to construct a quantitative assessment of the age-0 American shad impact on a reservoir food web.

Publication Year 2011
Title Growth characteristics and Otolith analysis on Age-0 American Shad
Authors Sally T. Sauter, Lisa A. Wetzel
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype Other Government Series
Index ID 70043649
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Fisheries Research Center