Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


The reproductive behaviour and ecology of smallmouth bass, Micropterus dolomieui, was studied during the 1981 to 1983 spawning seasons at Long Point Bay, Lake Erie. SCUBA was used to find a observe nesting males. My observations of these fish revealed some behaviours that were not previously described. Other activities, e.g. parental guarding, were segregated into discrete behaviour patterns. These units were organized into an ethogram of reproductive behaviour. A mating system involving selectivity by males in choosing mates was discussed.;Reproductive success of individual male smallmouth was measured by collecting new "black-fry" from nests. Thirteen variables reflecting differences in biological characteristics of the male, time in the season and particular habitat features in or near the nest were measured. The significant influences on reproductive success were evaluated through a sequence of statistical analyses. Principal components analysis on the 13 predictor variables provided a subset of 5 independent component variables containing 95% of the original variation. A multivariate analysis of variance on the PC scores of the variables indicated differences between years. Discriminant function analysis using data from different years as groups, identified that the physical environmental component (primarily the accumulated hours of wind greater than Beaufort force 4 during offspring development) was responsible for these differences. Multiple regressions of the component variables with reproductive success demonstrated that windy hours and the material in the bottom of the nests significantly influenced the numbers of "black-fry" in nests.;Renesting by male smallmouth that prematurely lost their brood was studied in 54 marked fish. Nest mortality was simulated by removing "black-fry". Twelve males (22%) undertook a second reproductive effort in their same territory. Renesting males were older and larger than those males that nested only once in a territory. Numbers of "black-fry" on both efforts did not differ significantly. All renesting males reared offspring to the "black-fry" stage a second time. Renesting effectively mitigated the failure of a first reproductive effort in one season.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.