Date of Graduation

Spring 2009


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

Daniel Beckman


walleye, Sanders vitreus, otolith, von Bertalanffy, fish age, growth

Subject Categories



Growth estimations and age frequencies of walleyes (Sander vitreus) were compared using scales and otoliths as the aging structures from Bull Shoals Lake, Missouri and Norfork Lake, Arkansas and Missouri. Aging structures were collected from fish sampled by electro-fishing during the spring of 2008. Each age structure was independently examined by three people without prior knowledge of the fish age, length, weight, gender, or site. Age distributions and growth models were obtained based on scale and otolith age data. Comparisons were made between distributions obtained using each aging structure and between lakes. It was found that scales consistently underestimate the age of fish from both lakes, assuming that otolith age data was accurate. The oldest fish age by scales from both lakes was 6 years, while the oldest fish age using otoliths was 11 years. Growth rates were compared to determine differences between aging structures and lake populations. Power growth models were created to compare growth between Lake Norfork and Bull Shoals Lake. It was found there were significantly different slopes and intercepts, for power growth models using scales and otoliths. Von Bertalanffy growth curves were created to compare growth rates between Lake Norfork and Bull Shoals Lake. Using otoliths as the aging structure it was found that growth rates in Bull Shoals Lake were slightly higher than Lake Norfork.


© Stephen Christopher Canter

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