Theses and Dissertations


Title: Depth distribution of the bluegill, Lepomis macrochirus Raf., in farm ponds during fall and winter

Name: Garth, William Anderson

Degree: MS

Chair: Dr. John S. Dendy

Resides: FAA Library

University: Auburn

Location: Auburn Alabama

Date: 1951

Pages: 55

Keywords: Depth Distribution,Bluegill,Lepomis macrochirus Rafinesque,Farm Ponds,Fall,Winter.

Abstract:

Depth distribution of bluegills in farm ponds was determined by trapping fish in a two-acre pond 33 feet deep, and a 22-acre pond 16 feet deep. The traps were placed at 2-, 5-, 8- and 11-foot depths in each pond. The main factor influencing the distribution of fish during the period October to March was water temperature. This had a marked effect on the numbers of fish caught and determined the depths where the greatest concentrations of fish were found. No stratum of water was unused from the middle of October through the first week in March: however, during the coldest weather when the water temperature dropped below 45oF., the greatest number of fish were found at the 11-foot depth. Chemical analyses showed that there were sufficient quantities of dissolved oxygen to support bluegills at all depths after stabilization of the fall turnover in both large and small ponds. In the smaller pond, when the water temperature rose in late winter, the dissolved oxygen was depleted at the greater depths because of the lack of wind action. The larger pond had an ample supply of dissolved oxygen due to the action of the wind. Fish were readily caught at all depths at all times, except when the water temperatures dropped below 45oF. and the numbers trapped decreased appreciably. On April 28, when the water temperature had risen to approximately 75oF. at the 2-foot depth, fish in the larger pond seemed to be feeding exclusively in shallow water or were on spawning beds. From early September to November, with water temperature between 76oF and 65oF., the greatest concentrations of large bluegills were found at the 5-and 8-foot levels but, in December and the first week of February with water temperature of approximately 45oF. or below, most of the large fish were at the 11-foot depths. On January 3, when the water temperature rose to 49oF., it was noted that the large bluegills had moved to the 5-and 8-foot depths.

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