Journal of Great Lakes Research
In the Laurentian Great Lakes, zooplankters are often sampled using standard ≤ 153 μm mesh nets without regard to the time of day they are collected. We sampled Cercopagidae during 2013–2014 in northern Lake Huron during day, dusk, and night using two different nets (a 0.5 m wide 153 μm mesh “standard” net and a 0.75 m wide 285 μm mesh “Bythotrephes” net) to determine if there were any differences in their sampled densities. Bythotrephes densities with the standard net were approximately 2.07-fold greater when captured at night than during the day. No time of day bias occurred with the Bythotrephes net. Nighttime Bythotrephes densities did not differ between the two net types. Cercopagis densities did not vary with net type or the time of day in this study, but future work should revisit this result given our low sample size and the low occurrence of Cercopagis in Lake Huron. To reduce bias and calculate accurate density estimates, Cercopagidae should be sampled at night if using a standard net or any time of day with the Bythotrephes net. Given the large impact of invasive predatory cladocerans Bythotrephes longimanus and Cercopagis pengoi on food webs since their invasion in the Laurentian Great Lakes in the 1980s, proper estimation of their densities is essential.