Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




The age and growth of yellow perch, Perca flavescens (Mitchill), were compared in two lakes which are part of a large Missouri River mainstem reservoir. Forty-five and one hundred and two perch were captured from Lake Sakakawea and Lake Audubon, respectively, by using experimental gill nets and frame fets. Longevity, condition, back- calculated annual growth, and length-weight relationships of the two perch populations were compared.

Studies of length-weight, annual growth, and condition revealed a relatively slow growth rate, reduced longevity, and poor condition in Lake Sakakawea; being on the order of a stunted population. Perch in Lake Audubon lived longer, and had better condition than those in Lake Sakakawea. A comparison with growth in other areas showed that Sakakawea perch had a growth rate that was somewhat below average whereas that of Audubon perch was well above average. Catch statistics indicated that the perch population was also more dense in Lake Audubon.

Visibly apparent differences in water quality and relative amount of littoral area appear to be responsible for the observed differences on age and growth in the two lakes. Sakakawea, appearing less nutrient rich, and having a shortage of well established littoral zone, appears to have a weakness in its food web at the benthic level.