Interactions among the benthic community are typically overlooked but play an important role in fish community dynamics. We examined the diel feeding ecology of Slimy Sculpin (Cottus cognatus) from Grout Brook, a tributary to Skaneateles Lake. Of the six time periods examined, Slimy Sculpin consumed the least during the nighttime (2400 h and 0400 h). Chironomids were the major prey consumed during all time periods except for 2400 h when ephemeropterans were the major prey consumed. There was a moderate preference by Slimy Sculpin for food from the benthos (0.59 ± 0.06) with Diptera (Chironomids), Ephemeroptera (Baetidae), and Trichoptera (Brachycentridae) representing the major taxa. Slimy Sculpin appear to be opportunistic feeders selecting what is most available in the brook. Index of fullness was variable and averaged 1.15% across the diel cycle. Daily ration was measured as a function of fish dry body weight and ranged from 0.12 to 0.22. Estimates of daily consumption ranged from 0.007% to 4.0% of body weight, which corresponds to reports for other species. These findings have application in gauging the relative importance of Slimy Sculpin in streams where highly valued salmonid species also occur.
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