Relationship between largemouth bass recruitment and water level dynamics in a Puerto Rico reservoir

Ozen O., NOBLE R.

LAKE AND RESERVOIR MANAGEMENT, vol.21, no.1, pp.89-95, 2005 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 21 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/07438140509354416
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.89-95
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


Recruitment of largemouth bass at age-1 in a Puerto Rico reservoir can be predicted from water level variables of the previous year. Age-1 largemouth bass electrofishing catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) as an index of year-class strength varied five fold between 1994 and 2001 in Lucchetti Reservoir, Puerto Rico. The CPUE of age-1 largemouth bass was higher in years when the water level of the previous years (1993-2000) remained high during the spawning period (January-June). The greatest water level drop (11.2 m) during the spawning period was observed in 1999, resulting in a water volume decrease of 66.5%, which corresponded to the lowest recruitment (CPUE 24.2 fish-h(-1)). With only 2.6 m of water level drop and 18.3 % water volume decrease during the spawning period, the 1995 largemouth bass cohort was the strongest (CPUE 128.3 fish-h(-1)). The effect of these hydrological variables on largemouth bass recruitment appeared to be exponential rather than linear. Age-l largemouth bass comprise the majority of the fishable stock in Lucchetti Reservoir, and the stock is typically below carrying capacity. Thus, the potential exists to adopt a water level management plan during the spawning period of largemouth bass to ensure successful largemouth bass recruitment into the next year's fishable stock.