The Occurrence and Distribution of Limnetic Larval Fishes from a Small Cove of Stockton Reservoir

Date of Graduation

Spring 1977


Masters of Arts



Committee Chair

Charles A. Taber


The horizontal distribution, relative abundance and dispersal patterns of larval fishes in the surface waters of a small cove were studied. Replicate samples were taken from three sites with a 0.946 mm mesh net from May through August, 1975. Larvae were preserved in the field in 5-10% formalin. In the lab the larvae were identified and measured. Size groups were established on the basis of fin-ray development and presumably swimming ability. Data analysis was performed using a four-way, fixed effects analysis of variance model. Bluegill were the most abundant larvae in the collections and were widespread early in their development, however, more were collected near to the shore. Gizzard shad were second in abundance but made up the bulk of the collections early in the sampling period. They were very widespread and appeared to stay farther from the shoreline than most of the bluegill. Larval crappie and silversides were third and fourth in abundance respectively. Their numbers, however, were too few to show any patterns of distribution or dispersal. Several other species of larval fishes were collected but were too few to warrant analysis.

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© Timothy Robert Donovan