Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management
Fish feeding ecology has been shown to vary over a 24-h period in terms of the prey consumed and feeding intensity. Consequently, in order to best determine the interspecific feeding associations within a fish community, examination of the diet at multiple times over a 24-h period is often necessary. We examined the diel feeding ecology of three fish species that were numerically dominant in a Lake Ontario embayment during summer. The diet of each of the three species, subyearling pumpkinseed Lepomis gibbosus, golden shiner Notemigonus crysoleucus, and brook silverside Labidesthes sicculus, was distinct with no significant overlap in diet composition occurring within any of the 4-h time intervals. The diet composition of each species suggested that brook silverside were feeding at the surface (terrestrial invertebrates and aquatic surface dwelling hemipterans) whereas subyearling pumpkinseed (amphipods) and golden shiner (tipulids) were feeding on different benthic prey. Differences in feeding periodicity were most pronounced for subyearling pumpkinseed. Our findings provide valuable insights on interspecific feeding associations among these three fish species during summer in a Lake Ontario embayment.