Production of fish populations in lakes

J. A. Downing, C. Plante

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


Biological production estimates of 100 fish populations from 38 lakes worldwide were gathered from the literature. The relationship between the annual production of fish populations (P, kg ha-1 yr-1), annual mean standing biomass (B, kg ha-1), and maximum individual body mass (W, grams) was approximately log10P = 0.32 + 0.94 log10B - 0.17 log10W (R2 = 0.84). This relationship is similar to one observed for lotic invertebrate populations and shows that P declines with W. Major axis regression indicated that the P/B:W relationship had an exponent similar to that predicted by allometric theory. Residuals from this multivariate equation suggest that fish production is positively correlated with temperature, lake phosphorus concentration, chlorophyll a concentration, primary production, and pH. Results suggest a general bottom-up control of lake ecosystem components. The morphoedaphic index is not a good predictor of the production of fish populations. Assuming that sustainable yield is c10% of production, sustainable yield would be <15% of the standing biomass for the majority of fish populations analyzed. Exploited populations were c70% more productive, on average, than unexploited populations of the same standing biomass and body-mass. -Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-120
Number of pages11
JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


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