Estimates of population characteristics of sport fishes inform fisheries management decisions and provide feedback on management strategies. Cheat Lake provides an unusual fishery in West Virginia because the hydropower reservoir supports a Yellow Perch Perca flavescens population. We estimated age structure, size structure, condition, total instantaneous mortality, growth, and summer diet for Cheat Lake Yellow Perch based on electrofishing collections in 2012. From 302 individuals, we observed a maximum age of 9 y. Maximum age, average size, and growth of females in the sample exceeded those of males. Cheat Lake Yellow Perch scored low on the relative weight index, but generally exhibited faster growth than other populations, even when compared by sex. Estimated annual survival was 0.63 (95% CI = 0.51–0.78), which is comparable to other exploited populations. These data support the presence of an ontogenetic diet shift from consumption of zooplankton to macroinvertebrates and fishes as Yellow Perch age. This study is the first evaluation we are aware of on Yellow Perch population characteristics in West Virginia, providing baseline data to enhance management decisions and direct future studies.
|Title||Population characteristics of Yellow Perch in a central Appalachia hydropower reservoir|
|Authors||Corbin D. Hilling, Nate D. Taylor, Stuart A. Welsh, Dustin M. Smith|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Coop Res Unit Leetown|