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Distributions of lake fish in the Northeast: I. Centrarchidae, Percidae, Esocidae and Moronidae

TitleDistributions of lake fish in the Northeast: I. Centrarchidae, Percidae, Esocidae and Moronidae
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsWhittier, TR, Halliwell, DB, Daniels, RA
JournalNortheastern Naturalist
KeywordsCentrarchidae, distributions, Esocidae, fish species, Moronidae, native status, Percidae, warm water lakes

Using data collected at 203 randomly selected lakes in eight states in northeastern USA, we present maps of distributions and native status for 22 fish species generally characteristic of warm water lakes, mostly water-column feeders, belonging to four families: Centrarchidae (sunfish and bass), Esocidae (pike and pickerel), Moronidae (white perch), and Percidae (yellow perch, walleye, and darters). Pumpkinseed and yellow perch were the most widespread species in our survey, collected in 74% and 72% of lakes, respectively. Five centrarchid species- large-mouth bass, bluegill, small mouth bass, black crappie, and rock bass-were collected in 55%, 32%, 31%, 22%, and 15% of the sampled lakes, respectively, and were judged as non-native in the majority of those lakes. Chain pickerel, white perch, redbreast sunfish, and tessellate darter were collected in 45%, 19%, 14%, and 10% of lakes. The remaining species were taken in <10% of the sampled lakes. Physical (surface area, depth, elevation), chemical (pH, total phosphorus), and watershed disturbance characteristics of the lakes show distinct species-specific patterns.