Predictors of walleye growth and survival in Michigan hatchery ponds

Marcy Knoll, Tracy L Galarowicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Walleyes Sander vitreus are extensively cultured across Michigan, with highly variable success resulting in substantial differences in growth and survival. The present study was undertaken in 2005 and 2006 to determine the relationship between abiotic components (temperature, dissolved oxygen, and nutrient levels), prey (zooplankton and benthic macroinvertebrate) availability, and stocking density in ponds in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan and the growth and survival of walleyes in these ponds. Besides fertilization of some of the ponds, there was no management of the ponds until harvest. Ponds were grouped by similarity of abiotic and biotic factors. Correlations among walleye length, weight, and stocking density, as well as between walleye percent survival and stocking density, provided contradictory results between years. Walleye growth and survival were correlated with planktonic prey densities and nutrient levels. Although these interactions among abiotic variables, prey availability, and walleye growth and survival exemplify the complexity of walleye culture at multiple geographic locations, nutrient and prey availability determine growth and survival across sites.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNorth American Journal of Aquaculture
StatePublished - 2011


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