Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research

First Advisor

Fryer, Brian (Earth & Environmental Sciences)


Environmental Sciences.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Western Lake Erie receives tributary inputs that form open-lake plumes with distinct chemical, physical, and biological properties. I explored their importance to yellow perch (Perca flavescens) recruitment by testing two related hypotheses: 1) survival of larvae would be greater in the nutrient-rich Maumee River plume versus non-plume waters; and 2) warm temperature and high zooplankton (prey) that lead to fast larval growth would underlie survivorship differences. As expected, larval survival was higher in Maumee River plume versus non-Maumee waters during 2006 and 2007. This survival difference was unexpectedly unrelated to zooplankton availability or temperature (i.e., bottom-up effects were unimportant). Instead, I suggest that high turbidity in the Maumee River plume offered a survival advantage over non-plume waters by reducing predation mortality on larvae (i.e., top-down effects appear important). These findings should help fisheries management agencies better understand and forecast yellow perch recruitment variation in Lake Erie.