Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version



DeBoer, J. A. 2013. Walleye and White Bass Recruitment in Southwest Nebraska Irrigation Reservoirs. Master's Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 142 pages.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Natural Resource Sciences, Under the Supervision of Professor Kevin L. Pope. Lincoln, Nebraska: November, 2013

Copyright (c) 2014 Jason Andrew DeBoer


Walleye Sander vitreus and white bass Morone chrysops are among the most popular sportfish in the reservoirs of the Great Plains. Despite considerable effort by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission stocking walleye and managing reservoirs for walleye and white bass, populations of walleye and white bass in southwest Nebraska reservoirs are dynamic, as erratic recruitment has led to “boom and bust” fisheries for these two species. We investigated 1) factors regulating walleye and white bass recruitment during an 18-year period at five reservoirs, and 2) walleye spawning ecology at two reservoirs that differ in their degree of environmental variability. The variables in the candidate model sets for walleye were most-often related to water-level drawdown. The variables in the candidate model sets for white bass were most-often related to adult white bass abundance and condition, and to factors affecting over-winter mortality of juvenile white bass. Despite significant differences in female body and liver masses between reservoirs that differ in environmental variability, we found no difference in reproductive investment measured by egg size and fecundity, which is counterintuitive to life-history theory.

Adviser: Kevin L. Pope