Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

Department

Biology

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

In the Barren River Lake of south central Kentucky, native white bass, Morone chrysops, has experienced a decline in population after the introduction of yellow bass, Morone mississippiensis. These species are competing for resources due to an overlapping diet, likely contributing to the decline of the white bass. To explore this hypothesis, I examined the stomach contents and otoliths of white and yellow bass caught during their spawning time in spring 2012. There were 40 yellow bass and 128 white bass collected in Barren River upstream of Barren River Lake. Analysis of stomach contents revealed that both white and yellow bass had a diet that relied heavily on crayfish and insect larvae. Yellow bass were found to have fish eggs present in 8% of stomachs directly after the white bass spawning period. This study supports that there is a dietary overlap between white and yellow bass in Barren River and explores the implications for the white bass and surrounding ecosystem.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Philip Lienesch

Disciplines

Animal Sciences | Aquaculture and Fisheries | Biology

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