A whole‐lake acoustic telemetry observatory situated in eastern Ontario was used to continuously monitor the three‐dimensional position of 20 largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) over a 120‐h period during the winter and a separate 120‐h period during the early spring. These data were used to evaluate the frequency and stability of associations among fish to provide an understanding of seasonal aggregations and the sociobiology of largemouth bass. The temporal and spatial proximity of each fish relative to the other 19 individuals was assessed and, based on our definition of spatial/temporal proximity (i.e., two fish having an average hourly position <2 m apart), associations were shown to vary among fish, as well as diurnally, daily and seasonally. Associations during the winter were found to be more stable and involved fewer fish than associations during the spring. Of those fish that formed pair aggregations during the winter and spring study periods, male–female pairs occurred more often than male–male and female–female pairs. Our analysis also demonstrated that associations occurred primarily during daylight hours, suggesting that fish may use visual cues to form these aggregations.
Whole-lake acoustic telemetry, three-dimensional positions over 120hour period