To test assumptions related to the current conceptual model for walleye Sander vitreusmanagement in Green Bay, we evaluated whether: 1) spawning aggregations in the Fox, Menominee, Oconto, and Peshtigo rivers represent genetically distinct stocks; 2) population dynamics and demographics vary among walleye spawning at these locations; 3) walleye spawning in these rivers contribute to the fishery in northern Green Bay, and 4) walleye spawning in these rivers exhibit spawning site fidelity or if they stray among rivers. Genetic differentiation among the four tributaries was low and sex-specific total length (TL), mean TL at age 5, and age-class diversity were generally similar among rivers and observed differences were not consistent. Movements of walleye inferred from angler tag returns suggest that walleye spawning (and tagged) in the four tributaries typically remain within southern Green Bay; however, this assertion may be confounded by the distribution of angling effort that provides tag recoveries. Straying rates among rivers ranged from 0 to 23% and were likely sufficient to preclude genetic differentiation among stocks. Collectively, results suggest that walleye spawning in the Fox, Menominee, Oconto, and Peshtigo rivers do not function as separate stocks and do not significantly contribute to the fishery outside of southern Green Bay. The primary assumption of the current conceptual model that remains to be tested is whether the walleye fishery in southern Green Bay is supported primarily by fish spawning in these four rivers, or if there are substantial contributions from fish spawning at other unknown locations.
|Title||Stock structure, dynamics, demographics, and movements of walleyes spawning in four tributaries to Green Bay|
|Authors||Daniel J. Dembkowski, Daniel A. Isermann, Steven R. Hogler, Wesley Larson, Keith N. Turnquist|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Journal of Great Lakes Research|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Coop Res Unit Leetown|