Date of this Version
The growth, condition, and mortality of black crappie, bluegill, and yellow perch were measured in 30 Nebraska Sand Hills lakes (1998, 1999) to determine the value of these parameters in these fish populations compared to other Great Plains populations. Growth was variable for all three fish species, but similar to or higher than populations in other midwestern states. Bluegill condition, as measured by mean relative weight, ranged from 115 to 123, indicating these populations were in very good condition. Mean relative weight by length for black crappie ranged from 94 to 114, but only 83 to 95 for yellow perch. Mean total annual mortality did not vary significantly among the three species, with 38.6% for black crappie, 30.9% for bluegill, and 37.9% for yellow perch (p > 0.50). These mortality estimates were similar to other lightly exploited or unexploited midwestern populations. This study indicates that high-quality panfish populations in the Nebraska Sand Hills had characteristic growth, condition, and mortality traits, and it provides baseline information for future comparisons with other Great Plains fish populations.