Estimation of Bioenergetics Parameters for a Stunted Northern Pikeminnow Population of South Central British Columbia

Nathan Taylor*, Carl Walters
Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z4.

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© 2010 Taylor and Walters

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z4; Tel: 604-822-6348; Fax: 604-822-8934; E-mail:


We estimate bioenergetics parameters using length-age and mark-recapture data for a stunted population of Northern pikeminnow on the Bonaparte plateau, British Columbia using a seasonal reproduction, skeletal allocation model. We show that using field data alone it was possible to estimate food consumption rates, standard metabolic rate and metabolic Q10 parameters, the proportional increase in feeding rate per 10o C increase (Qc), but that prior parameter ranges must be specified. Using the estimated parameter set, we predict body sizes using warmer water temperatures from Cultis Lake, British Columbia and the John Day Reservoir, Columbia River. We show that surface temperature differences between the Bonaparte plateau, John Day reservoir and Cultus Lake alone are insufficient to explain very large under- predictions of body size for these areas. In addition to diet differences, fish are likely choosing between fine-scale temperature and food-density environments to optimize capture and metabolism of food.

Keywords: Growth estimation, bioenergetics, Northern pikeminnow, tagging, von Bertalanffy.