Date of this Version
Published in the Journal of Freshwater Ecology, 26:1 (2011), pp 51-58.
Cobble substrate for walleye (Sander vitreus) spawning was added at Sherman Reservoir, Nebraska, in January 2008. We evaluated changes in relative adult walleye abundance and egg density in response to the cobble substrate and estimated site fidelity of adult walleye during the spawning seasons of 2007, 2008, and 2009. A 15% increase in electrofishing catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) of adult walleye was observed on the cobble substrate the first season it was available (2008), but a 5% decrease in electrofishing CPUE was observed the second season (2009) compared to the 2007 season. While gill nets were not run during the first season the cobble was available, a 113% increase in gill net CPUE was observed the second season. During the first season the cobble was available, a 215% increase in egg density was observed, but no increase in egg density was found in the second season. Site fidelity of adult walleye within a spawning season was 94% and was 81% between seasons. These results indicate that the addition of the cobble substrate increased the relative abundance of adult walleye and density of eggs on the cobble substrate.