Nebraska Academy of Sciences


Date of this Version



Published in 2001. Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences 27: 25-30; Copyright © 2001 Harrington, Paukert, and Willis


We investigated pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus) population characteristics in Nebraska Sandhills lakes because this region is near the southwestern edge of their native range. Pumpkinseeds were in low abundance (1.3-7.5 stocklength [i.e., ≥ 8 cm] fish per trap net night) and were collected from only seven of 30 lakes sampled. No preferred length (i.e., ≥ 20 cm) pumpkinseeds were collected in any of the seven lakes. Pumpkinseed relative weight (Wr) was positively related to bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) and yellow perch (Perea flauescens) Wr, suggesting that high condition of pumpkinseed was not detrimental to condition of other panfish species. No relationships were found between largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), the primary predator in these lakes, and pumpkinseed population characteristics. High pumpkinseed Wr was related to high annelid abundance, but not gastropod or chironomid abundance. Pumpkinseed relative abundance increased as lake maximum depth increased, and high relative abundance of 8-15-cm pumpkinseeds was positively associated with high submergent vegetation abundance. Few other relationships were evident between pumpkinseed population characteristics and habitat variables. These results suggest that pumpkinseeds in Nebraska Sandhills lakes are not common and apparently are not detrimental to other panfish in these lakes.

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