Pickerel, not as piscivorous as once thought?

Supergeorge123

Dovii
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Apr 6, 2018
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I came across this study examining the stomach contents of grass pickerel and it turns out that they eat a far wider range of food items than popular lore had led me to believe. In fact, fish only made up a majority of the food intake for juveniles and even then they only represented 60% of their total food intake.Screenshot_20210519-142453.pngScreenshot_20210519-142635.png

Pretty interesting results that could have a big impact on the way they are kept in captivity. The redfin pickerel are likely to have similar eating habits.
 

FJB

Redtail Catfish
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Dec 15, 2017
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I find this very interesting, and must admit somewhat surprising.
Also surprising is the trend shown in Table 2, where the percentage of total foods shows the very high percentage of crayfish consumed. For the large pickerel size class, crayfish compose over half of the diet; for the mid-size fish, it comprised about 1/3 of the diet; only for the small size class diet fish comprised about half of the diet, with a 22.7 value (about 1/4) for crayfish.

Thus, whereas one may expect the pickerels to eat mostly fish, this is not the case. And whereas one may expect the largest pickerels to be capable of and eating more fish (more frequently), the fact is that they reduce their fish intake (over crayfish and insects) during their lifetime.

It is important to note these results are based on fish samples collected between May-August (2005), and that there could easily exist a seasonal component (not addressed or detected here), hereby potentially prey items are present in variable relative abundances on a seasonal basis, thus making less clear whether an actual ontogenic change in preference is the main driver of the results reported.
They did extend their sampling to a number of locations within Indiana, which shows at least partially the generality of the pattern.

Very cool! Thanks for sharing -->
 

xenacanth9

Giant Snakehead
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Apr 19, 2021
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I came across this study examining the stomach contents of grass pickerel and it turns out that they eat a far wider range of food items than popular lore had led me to believe. In fact, fish only made up a majority of the food intake for juveniles and even then they only represented 60% of their total food intake.View attachment 1460971View attachment 1460972

Pretty interesting results that could have a big impact on the way they are kept in captivity. The redfin pickerel are likely to have similar eating habits.
Sorta makes sense. Look how savage their relatives, like northern pike and musky are
 
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