C. Paola Ferreri, Ph.D.

C. Paola Ferreri, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor of Fisheries Management
  • Associate Director of Academic Programs
408 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802


  • B.A., Case Western Reserve University (1988)
  • M.S., Case Western Reserve University (1990)
  • Ph.D., Michigan State University (1995)

Academic Interests

Fisheries ecology; fish population dynamics; river ecology and management; watersheds; modeling; and policy and management

Courses Taught

Fisheries Management, General Fisheries Science, River Ecology

Professional Affiliation

Member, American Fisheries Society; Member, International Association for Great Lakes Research

Recent Research/Educational Projects

Structure and Dynamics of an Unexploited Yellow Perch Population in Pymatuning Sanctuary, Pennsylvania. Many studies on fish populations focus on species existing in exploited systems. Data regarding unexploited fish populations can provide useful insight for fishery managers. The goal of this study was to describe the structure and dynamics of the unexploited yellow perch ( Perca flavescens ) population in the Pymatuning Sanctuary located in Crawford county, Pennsylvania. Our specific objectives were to determine the age and size structure of the population, the age-specific growth and mortality, and the reproductive schedule (fecundity and age at first maturity) of yellow perch. Yellow perch were collected in the spring of 1997 and 1998 using trap nets and boat electrofishing gear. The age and size structures were dramatically different for males and females collected on the spawning grounds. Most males collected were two years of age and between 80 and 170 mm, while most females were four years of age and older and were between 220 and 350 mm. The abundance of small males on the spawning grounds is consistent with data from exploited systems. However, the number of large, older females collected seems unique to unexploited systems.

Role of Compensatory Mechanisms in the Population Dynamics of Lake Trout. We explored the role of compensatory mechanisms in the population dynamics of lake trout in the Michigan and Wisconsin waters of Lake Superior during three time periods: the pre-sea lamprey period, when lake trout were at a relatively high abundance and the fishery was the primary source of lake trout mortality; the sea lamprey dominant period, when lake trout were at a very low abundance due to sea lamprey predation and over-exploitation; and currently, when wild lake trout abundance was at a moderate level. Individual growth rates, age-specific fecundity, and age-0 survival rates changed in response to the different levels of lake trout abundance during each of the study periods in both sites. Lake trout during the sea lamprey dominant period, which experienced the lowest abundance and highest mortality levels, exhibited the fastest individual growth rates, the highest age-specific fecundity, and the highest age-0 survival. We found that reducing fishing mortality has a greater effect on the population growth rate than reducing sea lamprey induced mortality by an equal percentage.

Effects of Improved Water Quality and Stream Treatment Rotation on Sea Lamprey Abundance. Improved water quality in streams has been linked to increased amounts of suitable sea lamprey habitat leading to increased sea lamprey production. To assess the impact of improved water quality on sea lamprey production, we simulated transformer production in a model stream assuming 50%, 75%, and 100% habitat availability. We also assessed the effect of lengthening the lampricide treatment cycle in streams; a proposed solution to inadequate funding of the sea lamprey control program. Increasing habitat availability dramatically increased the number of transformers produced in the stream. Further, the combined effects of improved water quality and lengthened lampricide treatment rotation caused transformer production to increase at a faster rate than either factor acting alone. To counteract the improvement of sea lamprey habitat in tributaries, sea lamprey control efforts must be increased to enable lake trout rehabilitation to succeed.

Selected Publications

Niewinski, B.C. and C.P. Ferreri. A Comparison of Three Methods Used to Determine the Age of Yellow Perch in the Pymatuning Sancturary, PA. North American Journal of Fisheries Management (In Review)

Ferreri, C.P., C.E. Glotfelty, and J.C. Finley. 1998. Student Team Projects and Natural Resources Education: Are We Achieving Educational Objectives? Pages 72-80 in Carla G. Heister, editor. Second Biennial Conference on University Education in Natural Resources. Utah State University, Logan, Utah.

Ferreri, C.P. and W.W. Taylor. 1997. Role of Fishing and Sea Lamprey Induced Mortality in the Rehabilitation of Lake Trout in the U.S. Waters of Lake Superior. Pages 72-77 in Developing and Sustaining World Fisheries Resources: The State of Science and Management: 2 nd World Fisheries Congress Proceedings . CSIRO Publishing, Australia.

Ferreri, C.P. and W.W. Taylor. 1996. Compensation in Individual Growth Rates and its Influence on Lake Trout Population Dynamics in the Michigan Waters of Lake Superior. Journal of Fish Biology 49:763-777.

Hayes, D.B., C.P. Ferreri, and W.W. Taylor. 1996. Active Fish Capture Methods. Pages 193 - 220 in B.R. Murphy and D.W. Willis, editors. Fisheries Techniques, 2nd edition. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland.

Ferreri, C.P., W.W. Taylor, and D.B. Hayes. 1995. Evaluation of Age-0 Survival and Its Effect on Lake Trout Rehabilitation in the Michigan Waters of Lake Superior. Journal of Great Lakes Research 21(Suppl. 1):218-224.