Validation of Age Estimates and Comparisons of Growth Rates of the White Sucker, Catostomus Commersoni, in Three Southwest Missouri Populations

Date of Graduation

Summer 1993


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

Daniel Beckman


White suckers, Catostomus commersoni, were collected from three sites in southwest Missouri from September 1991 to February 1993 by electroshocking and seines. Total length, fork length, total weight, body weight, gonad weight, and sex data were collected from each fish. Sagittal otoliths were removed from each fish, dried, embedded, sectioned through the transverse plane, and polished in preparation for age estimation. Ageing validation was by marginal increment analysis whereby progression of annulus formation is plotted throughout the year at the otolith's growing edge. After validation, ages were determined by counting the annuli (opaque zones) of each otolith. From the validated age estimates, age structures and growth models were constructed for each population. Age structure varied among populations. Maximum longevity was 19 years. Growth rates were modelled for each population by regression analysis. White suckers in both Roaring river and Caps Creek grew at a faster rate than white suckers from Lake Taneycomo.

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© Kip R Thompson