From recreation to aquaculture to commercial fisheries, the study of aquatic systems are essential for maintaining and understanding how nutrient flow and population dynamics are affected using specific management techniques. This thesis paper is centered on a pure research topic dedicated towards exploring whether supplemental feeding in managed ponds creates two distinct populations of bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) within a pond system. The ponds in this study were subjected to three separate, two-week trials of supplemental feeding. Relative weights of individuals caught at designated feeding and non-feeding patches were used to determine if fish condition was significantly different at fed patches when compared to non-fed patches. Stratification of individuals within the system was seen on a significant level depending on the sites where fish were captured thus leading to the likelihood that feeding directly alters the location of fish with a higher average body condition. This baseline study may help further the understanding of how supplemental feeding distributes pond populations and lead to the implementation of more balanced, pond specific management practices when considering supplemental feed as a management strategy.
Semester/Year of Award
Restricted Access Thesis
Stump, Andrew J., "Bluegill Response to Supplemental Feeding and Patch Richness in Recreational Fishing Ponds" (2012). Honors Theses. 18.