Date of Award

3-2005

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract

The natural reproductive potential of adult walleye in Honeoye Lake was not understood prior to this study. Over 8 million walleye fry are stocked into Honeoye annually and are thought to be the only recruitment source to the adult walleye population. The objectives of my study were to: 1) identify seasonal movement patterns of adult walleye, 2) find and describe spawning locations and habitats using radio telemetry and an underwater camera, and 3) document the presence of naturally produced fry and fingerlings. Twenty-three adult walleye were implanted and tracked for 2.5 years. Walleye established relatively small home ranges

(24.2-187.8 ha) and tended to move more during the spawning season (149 m/d) compared to the rest of the year (37 m/d). Eight walleye were captured in, entered or re-entered the Honeoye Inlet channel during the 2002 or 2003 spawning seasons. The other implanted walleye remained in the lake during the spawning season, concentrating near their capture and release sites on the southeastern shore, over apparently unsuitable spawning habitat. No walleye eggs were collected in Honeoye Lake or the Honeoye Inlet channel during the study period, nor were a successful natural walleye hatch detected in 2002 or 2003. Implanted walleye exhibited navigational, homing and site fidelity behaviors in Honeoye Lake. Based on this research I make the following recommendations : I) the Honeoye Inlet channel, Honeoye Inlet Stream and near shore lentic areas should be evaluated for potentially suitable spawning habitat according to the Habitat Suitability Index (HSI), and 2) given the site fidelity of adult walleye, fry stocking should be focused on areas of suitable substrate for spawning.

Foust supplemental maps in color.pdf (2357 kB)
Original maps from thesis in color.

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