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Perch and zander: unworking feeding attractants


Freshwater percid (Percidae) fish can be divided into the two groups depending on type of their activity and sensory equipment. European perch, Perca fluviatilis, American yellow perch, Perca flavescens, and numerous American darters (Etheostoma) demonstrate the day type of activity (first of all of the feeding activity), are visually guided fish and, thus, may be included in the first group.

In laboratory and natural conditions, both perches usually do not eat immobile as well as dead food and demonstrate relatively weak responses to food odors or their absence. According to Mirza et al. (2003), an aqueous brine shrimp (Artemia spp.) extract (5 g of frozen shrimp in 150 ml of distilled water for 1 hour) induces searching movements in P. flavescens. Both perches, however, do not go practically into the minnow traps baited with the animal lures (in contrast to cyprinid, cobitid and other fish).

In aquarium, blinded P. fluviatilis may find the pieces of earthworms using olfactory and gustatory systems (Wunder, 1927). But convergence of perch with brown trout, Salmo trutta, on sensory system utilization is incorrect.

Skin of percid fish contains alarm pheromone that is documented in yellow perch P. flevescens, common ruffe Gymnochephalus cernuus and other species. Releasing in the water, this pheromone induces in small (planktivorous) perch an avoidance behaviour, whereas large (piscivorous) perch display feeding behaviour (Mirza et al., 2003; Harvey & Brown, 2004).


Another group is formed by percids with the twilight or nocturnal type of feeding activity with the morphologically developed chemosensory and lateral line systems. Three Europen zanders or pikeperches, Stizostedion lucioperca , S. volgensis and estuarine pikeperch S. marinus, both North American zanders, walleye S. vitreus and sauger S. canadensis, all species of Gymnocephalus genus (such as common ruffe G. cernuus, Donets ruffe G. acerina, striped ruffe G. schraetser and other), all species of Zingel genus (such as Z. zingel, Z. streber, Z. balcanicus and other) and sculpin-perch Romanichthys valsanicola (single species of Romanichthys genus) belong to this group. Three last genera are represented in temperate Europe, except common ruffes which occupy mainly boreal areas around the world being active intruders in America.

Underyearling walleyes are mainly visually guided fish with the olfactory system that can detect individual chemicals and artificial food odors (Rottiers & Lemm, 1985). In particular, fish are attracted by amino acids (arginine), betaine, washings from live Daphnia and Artemia but reject many other chemicals (cysteine, glycine, glycine-betaine).

According to Valentinčič (2004), walleyes and some other fish occupy an exclusive niche of visually guided predators with the secondary role of chemosensory system in feeding behaviour. Electrophysiological dara indicate that olfactory system of walleyes is broadly tuned while gustatory system of them is tuned very narrowly. On the other hand, behaviuoral data for wild walleyes show that over 90 % of fish do not use chemical senses to release feeding excitatory state. In addition, walleyes which are not conditioned to eat nonliving foods during their early life do not use olfactory and taste systems to control feeding bahaviour (Valentinčič, 2004).

The olfactory sensitivity of nocturnal percid fish to food odors, if any, is probably low. It is known, for example, that the olfactory sensitivity of ruffe G. cernuus to food odors (extracts of Chronomidae larvae and Tubifex sludgeworms) is about 10-2 g l-1 that is much less than the olfactory sensitivity of cyprinid fish (Kasumyan et al., 2003).


Thus, there is no scientific evidence to develop feeding attractants (that include food extracts, amino acids and other chemicals) for perch and zander (walleye, sauger), except attractants based on pheromones and other behaviourally significant chemicals.

Meantime, some manufacturers offer attractants for perch and zander:

Super Juice Walleye Scent (Blue Fox Co.)

MegaStrike Fish Attractant, including unworking Pike Formula (MegaStrike Inc.)

Bombix Perche & Zander (Sensas Co.)

PowerBait Attractant Walleye Formula (Pure Fishing Inc.)

Kick’n Bass Walleye Formula (Scientific Bass Products Inc.)

Attractant for Walleye & Sauger (Fizards Co.), and some more.

Some traders (like Jim Fish or Pike-Attack, Germany) recommend original attractants of manufacturers for perch and zander (such as MegaStrike Lockstoff Barsch & Zander).

Feeding attractants do not work, it is unclear whether they (such as Super Juice Walleye Scent) contain an alarm pheromone of preyfish.

Basic References

Harvey M.C., Brown G.E. 2004. Dine or dash?: Ontogenetic shift in the response of yellow perch to conspecific alarm cues. Environmental Biology of Fishes 70, 345-352

Kasumyan A.O., Marusov E.A., Sidorov S.S. 2003. Feeding behavior of the ruffe Gymnocephalus cernuus triggered by olfactory and gustatory stimulants. Journal of Ichthyology 43, S247-S254

Mirza R.S., Fisher S.A., Chivers D.P. 2003. Assessment of predation risk by juvenile yellow perch (Perca flavescens): responses to alarm cues from conspecifics and prey guild members. Environmental Biology of Fishes 66, 321–327.

Rottiers D.V., Lemm C.A. 1985. Movement of underyearling walleyes in response to odor and visual cues. The Progressive Fish-Culturist 47, 34-41

Valentinčič T. 2004. Taste and olfactory stimuli and behavior in fishes. The senses of fish: Adaptations for the reception of natural stimuli. 90-108

Wunder W. 1927. Sinnesphysiologische Untersuchungen über die Nahrungsaufnahme bei verschiedenen Knochenfischarten. Zeitschrift für vergleichende Physiologie 6, 67-98

Category: Attractants | Views: 1183 | Added by: nickyurchenko | Rating: 0.0/0





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