Mixed effects models for fish growth

Sanford Weisberg, George Spangler, Laurie S. Richmond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Fish growth in a particular year has both intrinsic and environmental components. Intrinsic growth can depend on both the age and size of the fish and on particular characteristics of the individual fish. The environmental component is the influence of external conditions such as food supply on the growth increment. In this article, we present mixed-effects models as an alternative to fixed-effects linear models for incremental fish growth used previously in the literature and show how these models overcome many of the shortcomings of the fixed-effects approach. In addition, widely available software allows for fitting these models and for elaboration of them to learn about the effects of additional factors such as temperature, species interactions, management practices, the introduction of an invasive species, or other known environmental variables. Finally, we provide a connection with the more usual modeling of size-attained data through the use of growth functions such as the von Bertalanffy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-277
Number of pages9
JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010


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