Movement and Homing of Sunfishes in Clear Lake

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Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, Vol: 72, Issue: 1, Page: 263-271

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Kudrna, Joel J.
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During the summer of 1964, pumpkinseeds (Lepomis gibbosus), bluegills (Lepomis macrochirus) and green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus) were taken by shocking in certain areas of Clear Lake, Iowa, marked with numbered jawtags, and displaced to other neighboring areas. Recaptures indicate that separate populations live in various parts of the lake. Recapture rates for pumpkinseeds and bluegills replaced in their home areas were higher than for those displaced to other areas. No correlation was shown between homing and distance displaced, but distances did not exceed 2200 feet. The larger fish showed a greater homing tendency. Home ranges are apparently maintained only for relatively short periods by these fish. Direct observation of homing indicated that green sunfish have a higher precision in orienting themselves and returning to the area of original capture than do the other two species.