Size, age structure and diet preferences of an invasive population of redbreast sunfish (Lepomis auritus) in Richland Creek, Haywood County, North Carolina

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Rachael Danielle Woods (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Thomas Martin

Abstract: In Richland Creek, Haywood County, North Carolina, the invasive species, Redbreast Sunfish,Lepomis auritus (Linnaeus 1758), dominates the fish assemblage. As part of a study of thefeasibility of using backpack electrofishing to selectively remove the invasive, Redbreast Sunfishwere removed from three reaches of Richland Creek. The sacrificed fish were used to gain insightinto the population characteristics of this population. Data on total length, wet weight and age,were recorded. Stomach contents were identified to the lowest taxon feasible, and compared tostandardized invertebrate samples collected near the time of fish sampling. Fish sacrificed rangedfrom total lengths of 31 mm to 168 mm. Fish were found from zero to three years old, with themajority of fish being in their first or second year of life. The fish collected in sites close to asmall reservoir downstream were smaller than fish collected upstream, indicating that the riverpopulation was likely a sink population to the reservoir. This population of Redbreast Sunfish atea variety of invertebrates, as well as a fish, supporting our hypothesis that they, as many invasivespecies, are generalists. They showed a slight preference for chironomids, and appeared to avoidmayflies.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2014
aquatic ecology, diet, electrofishing, invasive species, population description, Redbreast Sunfish
Redbreast sunfish -- North Carolina -- Haywood County
Redbreast sunfish -- Food -- North Carolina -- Haywood County

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