Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

Peter Behr, University of Miami

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Project Title: 

Size and Temperature Dependence on the Maximum Consumption Rate of White Perch, Morone americana


Estimates of maximum consumption of fish are important because they provide a necessary component to mass balance bioenergetics models which define the growth of fish as the difference between energy input (consumption) and energy loss (egestion, excretion, and metabolism). In this study, I conducted laboratory experiments to examine the maximum consumption rate of white perch (Morone americana) as a function of fish size and water temperature. The experiments were performed at four different temperatures (27.5, 25.1, 18.5, and 15.4°C at eight size groups (mean weights 0.92, 1.36, 1.78, 15, 25, 43, 80, and 152 g) of fishes. The results indicate that maximum consumption rate per unit weight for white perch decreases as fish weight increases, and increases as temperature increases. The highest maximum consumption rate (0.42 g/g/day) was fir the young of year fish at 25.1°C, and the lowest peak rate (0.04 g/g/day) was for the adult white perch at 18.5°C.