Nebraska Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit


Date of this Version



Published in North American Journal of Fisheries Management 18:470–474, 1998


An understanding of larval fish distributions is essential for developing an appropriate sampling design to monitor larval abundances. We monitored abundance of larval black crappie Pomoxis nigromaculatus to assess spatial differences in Richmond Lake (a 336-ha impoundment) and Brant Lake (a 405-ha natural lake), South Dakota, during 1994–1996. Age-0 black crappies were collected with a 500-µm mesh ichthyoplankton trawl from fixed sites within each water body. In the impoundment, larval black crappies were collected over a longer period at the upper site than at the dam site during 1994 and 1995. In the natural lake, larval black crappie abundances were similar between east and west sites during all 3 years. In light of our results, biologists should spatially stratify sampling sites when collecting larval black crappies in impoundments such as Richmond Lake, whereas random sites may be more appropriate in natural lakes such as Brant Lake.