White Sucker Behavior: contributed by Ben Marcy-Quay
At this year’s Adirondack Research Forum, Benjamin Marcy-Quay (Cornell University Adirondack Fishery Research Program) presented data indicating that white suckers (Catostomus commersonii) undertake diel movement between lakes. PIT-tagged suckers were detected moving across an antenna array located in a narrow channel between two Adirondack lakes on a nightly basis during June and July, leaving one lake at sunset and returning shortly before dawn the next morning. Fish repeated this pattern day after day, with one individual making 29 similar trips in a 60-day period. While not a game species, white suckers are widespread in New York and can comprise a significant portion of the fish biomass in many waters. The potential for inter-lake movement therefore might have a substantial influence on food web linkages in networks of connected lakes and streams. Future plans include the use of VHF-tracking and diet analysis to better understand the extent and drivers of sucker movement in Adirondack ecosystems.