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Phototaxis of larval and juvenile northern pike

January 1, 1995

Age- Phi northern pike Esox lucius prefer vegetated habitats that are difficult to sample with standard towed gears. Light traps can be effective for sampling larval fishes in dense vegetation, given positive phototaxis of fish. We evaluated the phototactic response of young northern pike by comparing the catches of larvae and juveniles obtained with plexiglass traps deployed with a chemical light stick versus traps deployed without a light source (controls) in a laboratory raceway and in a vegetated pond. In the laboratory tests, catches of protolarvae and mesolarvae in lighted traps were 11-35 times greater than catches in control traps. The catches of juvenile northern pike in field and laboratory experiments were 3-15 times greater in lighted traps than in control traps, even though the maximum body width of the larger juveniles was similar to the width of the entrance slots of the traps (5 mm). Larval and juvenile northern pike were photopositive; thus, light traps should effectively sample age-0 northern pike for at least 6 weeks after hatching.

Publication Year 1995
Title Phototaxis of larval and juvenile northern pike
Authors S. J. Zigler, M. R. Dewey
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title North American Journal of Fisheries Management
Index ID 1003150
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center