A whole-lake experiment to control invasive rainbow smelt (Actinoperygii, Osmeridae) via overharvest and a food web manipulation
Invasive rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) have spread rapidly throughout inland lakes of North America with detrimental effects on several native fishes. To test for the potential to control this species, we conducted an experimental removal of rainbow smelt in Sparkling Lake, Wisconsin during 2002–2009. We combined intensive spring harvest of rainbow smelt with an effort to increase predation on this invasive through restricted angler harvest of walleye and increased stocking of walleye (Sander vitreus). Over 4,170 kg of rainbow smelt were harvested during the experiment; up to 93% of adults were removed annually. We observed a significant decline in rainbow smelt gillnet catches during the removal. However, rainbow smelt relative abundances began increasing upon cessation of the removal effort. Bioenergetics modeling suggested that despite achieving higher than the regional average walleye densities, walleye consumed only a fraction of the rainbow smelt standing stock biomass. Our findings suggest that removal of rainbow smelt from invaded lakes may be difficult, and reinforce the importance of prevention as a strategy to limit the expansion of this invasive fish.
KeywordsBioenergetics Overharvest Rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) Walleye (Sander vitreus)
We thank Steve Carpenter, Tim Kratz, Stacy Lischka, and John Magnuson for guidance and help in the development of this project and comments on earlier versions of the manuscript. We also thank two anonymous reviews for helpful comments. Our research was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) North Temperate Lakes Long-Term Ecological Research program and a NSF Biocomplexity award as well as a Graduate Engineering Research Scholars Fellowship to J. Gaeta. B. Roth and G. Sass were supported by a NSF Integrated Graduate Research and Education Traineeship. We thank Jeff Bode of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for help in changing the fishing regulations on Sparkling Lake. We also thank David Gilroy, Jeff Hinke, Damon Krueger, Katie Lee, Liz Leavitt, Steve Martell, Pam Montz, Brad Ray, Jim Rusak, Laura Smith, Scott Van Egren, and Michelle Woodford for help with field data collection and laboratory analysis.
- Allen, M. S. & J. E. Hightower, 2010. Fish population dynamics: mortality, growth, and recruitment. In Hubert, W. A. & M. C. Quist (eds), Inland fisheries management in North America. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD: 43–79.Google Scholar
- Cummins, K. W. & J. C. Wuycheck, 1971. Caloric equivalents for investigations in ecological energetics. International Association of Theoretical and Applied Limnology 18: 1–158.Google Scholar
- Franzin, W. G., B. A. Barton, R. A. Remnant, D. B. Wain & S. J. Pagel, 1994. Range extension, present and potential distribution, and possible effects of rainbow smelt in Hudson Bay drainage waters of Northwestern Ontario, Manitoba, and Minnesota. North American Journal of Fish Management 14: 65–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Gelman, A. & J. Hill, 2008. Data analysis using regression and multilevel/heirarchical models. Cambridge University Press, New York, NY.Google Scholar
- Hansen, M. J., N. P. Lester & C. C. Krueger, 2010. Natural lakes. In Hubert, W. A. & M. C. Quist (eds), Inland fisheries management in North America. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD: 449–500.Google Scholar
- Hanson, P. C., T. B. Johnson, D. E. Schindler & J. F. Kitchell, 1997. Fish Bioenergetics 3.0 for Windows. Center For Limnology, University of Wisoconsin – Madison, Madison, WI.Google Scholar
- Isely, J. J. & T. B. Grabowski, 2007. Age and growth. In Guy, C. S. & M. L. Brown (eds), Analysis and interpretation of freshwater fisheries data. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland: 187–228.Google Scholar
- Isermann, D. A. & C. P. Paukert, 2010. Regulating harvest. In Hubert, W. A. & M. C. Quist (eds), Inland fisheries management in North America. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD: 185–212.Google Scholar
- Kolar, C. S., W. R. Courtenay Jr & L. G. Nico, 2010. Managing undesired and invading fishes. In Hubert, W. A. & M. C. Quist (eds), Inland fisheries management in North America. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD: 213–259.Google Scholar
- Lathrop, R. C., D. S. Liebl & K. Welke, 2013. Carp removal to increase water clarity and aquatic plants in shallow eutrophic Lake Wingra LakeLine Magazine, Vol. 33. North American Lake Mangement Society, Madison, WI: 23–30.Google Scholar
- Lodge, D. M., S. Williams, H. J. MacIsaac, K. R. Hayes, B. Leung, S. Reichard, R. N. Mack, P. B. Moyle, M. Smith, D. A. Andow, J. T. Carlton & A. McMichael, 2006. Biological invasions: recommendations for US policy and management. Ecological Applications 16(6): 2035–2054.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Magnuson, J. J., T. K. Kratz & B. J. Benson (eds), 2006. Long-term dynamics of lakes in the landscape. Oxford University Press Inc, New York, NY.Google Scholar
- Nellbring, S., 1989. The ecology of smelts (genus Osmerus): a literature review. Nordic Journal of Freshwater Research 65: 116–145.Google Scholar
- NTL-LTER, Whole Lake Manipulations: Rainbow Smelt Removal, 2011. North Temperate Lakes Long Term Ecological Research Database. http://lter.limnology.wisc.edu/dataset/biocomplexity-north-temperate-lakes-lter-whole-lake-manipulations-rainbow-smelt-removal-2001. Accessed 13 August 2013.
- NTL-LTER, Daily Water Temperatures – Sparkling Lake, 2012a. North Temperate Lakes Long Term Ecological Research Database. http://lter.limnology.wisc.edu/datafile/north-temperate-lakes-lter-daily-water-temperature-sparkling-lake. Accessed 13 August 2013.
- NTL-LTER, Ice Duration – Troul Lake Area, 2012b. North Temperate Lakes Long Term Ecological Research Database. http://lter.limnology.wisc.edu/dataset/north-temperate-lakes-lter-ice-duration-trout-lake-area-1981-current. Accessed 13 August 2013.
- NTL-LTER, Pelagic Prey Sonar Data, 2012c. North Temperate Lakes Long Term Ecological Research Database. http://lter.limnology.wisc.edu/dataset/north-temperate-lakes-lter-pelagic-prey-sonar-data-2001-current. Accessed 13 August 2013.
- NTL-LTER, Fish Lengths and Weights, 2013. North Temperate Lakes Long Term Ecological Research Database. http://lter.limnology.wisc.edu/dataset/north-temperate-lakes-lter-fish-lengths-and-weights-1981-current. Accessed 13 August 2013.
- R Development Core Team, 2013. R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria.Google Scholar
- Ricker, W. E., 1975. Computation and interpretation of biological statistics of fish populations bulletin of the fisheries research board of Canada, Vol. 191. Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Ottawa, Canada.Google Scholar
- Roth, B. M., 2005. An investigation of exotic rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) and rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) interactions in lake food webs: the Sparkling Lake biomanipulation. Ph.D., The University of Wisconsin, Madison.Google Scholar
- Sala, O. E., F. S. Chapin, J. J. Armesto, E. Berlow, J. Bloomfield, R. Dirzo, E. Huber-Sanwald, L. F. Huenneke, R. B. Jackson, A. Kinzig, R. Leemans, D. M. Lodge, H. A. Mooney, M. Oesterheld, N. L. Poff, M. T. Sykes, B. H. Walker, M. Walker & D. H. Wall, 2000. Biodiversity – global biodiversity scenarios for the year 2100. Science 287(5459): 1770–1774.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Sass, G. G., S. W. Hewett, T. D. Beard, A. H. Fayram & J. F. Kitchell, 2004. The role of density dependence in growth patterns of ceded territory walleye populations of northern Wisconsin: effects of changing management regimes. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 24(4): 1262–1278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Vitousek, P. M., C. M. Dantonio, L. L. Loope & R. Westbrooks, 1996. Biological invasions as global environmental change. American Scientist 84(5): 468–478.Google Scholar