- van den Ende, Olivier
The Graduate School, University of Maine
This study utilized field data, experimental work, and a bioenergetics model to estimate losses of Atlantic salmon smolts (Salmo salad) to predation by smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) and chain pickerel (Esox niger) in the Penobscot River, Maine. Field investigations carried out during the spring of 1992 on a section of the Penobscot River yielded information on the food habits of the two predatory fishes. Consumption and growth data of smallmouth bass and chain pickerel fed salmon smolts and other prey were obtained from experimental work. The total daily predation rate on salmon smolts by smallmouth bass and chain pickerel populations in the Penobscot River was estimated using a fish bioenergetics model.
Smallmouth bass are probably not a major predator on salmon smolts in the Penobscot River due to morphological constraints of the bass and low feeding rates during early spring when smolts are stocked. In contrast, the chain pickerel could be a significant predator of smolts, as it is an adept piscivore and feeds actively at low temperatures.