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Homing, swimming behavior, range, activity patterns and reaction to increasing water levels of walleyes (stizostedion vitreum vitreum) as determined by radio-telemetry in navigational pools 7 and 8 of the upper Mississippi River during spring, 1976

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Author(s)
Bahr, David Mark
Advisor(s)
Claflin, Thomas O.
Degree
MS, Biology
Date
1977
Subject(s)
Fishes -- Mississippi River -- Behavior.; Walleye (Fish) -- Behavior.
Abstract
Twelve walleyes (Stizostedion vitreum vitreum) were tagged with radio transmitters between 13 March and 26 April 1976 in the tailwater area of lock and dam 7. The objectives of the study were to determine the walleye's homing ability, behavior patterns, range, diel activity patterns and reaction to increasing water levels. Three walleyes were displaced a minimum of 10 km from the capture site and all exhibited homing behavior as defined by Crowe (1962). The walleyes in the tailwater area were located in 15 separate areas that were classified as either eddies or backwaters. The fishes were located in eddies 39% of the tracking hours and in backwater areas 52.7% of the tracking hours. Only 8.3% of the hours were spent travelling in the main channel. Two types of swimming patterns became recognizable. Random swimming was defined as movement having either no specific direction of travel, a slow rate of travel (10-300 m/hr) or the fish traversing small distances 127 m/movement). Directional swimming was characterized by rapid movement between study areas (300-1200 m/hr), usually in relatively straight lines and the fish traveled farther (547 m/movement). The walleyes rested (no movement) twice as much time as was spent swimming. They rested more at night than during the day; however, when they were active, they were more active during the night. The fishes showed four distinct modes in activity during the night. The fishes showed four distinct modes in activity at 0230, 0630, 1130 and 1830 hours with the highest peak at 0230 hours. There were diel habitat preferences where location in backwater areas would peak between 2100 and 0300 hours and eddy location would peak between 2100 and 0300 hours and eddy location would peak between 0900 and 1500 hours. During the study period the walleyres ranged upstream to Lock and Dam 6 and downstream to Lock and Dam 8, a minimum distance of 56.3 km. Rising water levels associated with spring runoff had no apparent effect on the walleye's behavior.
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http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1793/37640 
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