Walleye Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire: How Will Climate Change Influence Ontario Walleye (Sander Vitreus) and Small Mouth Bass (Micropterus Dolomien) Populations? Do Small Mouth Bass Invasions Negatively Influence Walleye Abundance?
Zuiden, Thomas Van
MetadataShow full item record
Climate change will impact freshwater fish communities in Ontario. Warmwater species are expanding their ranges northward while cool and coldwater species are expected to shift or decline under the current rates of warming. Our first objective was to examine how a warmwater predator, smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) and a coolwater predator, walleye (Sander vitreus), will respond to climate change. Our second objective was to determine if smallmouth bass expansions negatively influence Ontario walleye abundances. Data was provided by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and Climatic Research Unit. We projected that smallmouth bass will undergo range expansions throughout Ontario while walleye will become extirpated in their southern ranges and shift into northern waters. We also observed that there were fewer walleye at the landscape scale when they share lakes with smallmouth bass. These findings underscore the importance of proactive fisheries management and curbing climate change.