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Fisheries Abstracts
Scheduled times and abstracts for technical sessions and symposia are subject to change. Be sure to check back for updates and collect the final program onsite for the most up to date information.
AQUATIC INVASIVES
Monday, January 27
10:40 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Title: The Cause and Effects of a Massive Common Carp Fish Kill at Blue Springs Lake, Jackson County, MO.
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
10:40 am - 11:00 am
Authors: Jake Allman, Missouri Department of Conservation
Abstract: Common carp are an unwelcome component of many reservoir fisheries in Missouri. Blue Springs Lake (720 acres) was plagued with a high density carp population for years. Carp reduction efforts in the early to mid-2000's became politically volatile and were discontinued. High carp densities, prolonged water temperatures in the 70's, spawning activities and the unnatural concentration of carp due to feeding activities at the marina created a perfect storm for koi herpesvirus (KHV) to proliferate and cause a massive fish kill in 2012. Dead carp were first reported on May 20, but the majority of the kill occurred over the Memorial Day weekend causing aesthetic and environmental issues at the lake. Mortality estimates were obtained from two counts conducted 11 and 20 days after the first dead fish were observed. Approximately 47% of the shoreline was covered during each count. Transects were distributed evenly around the lake to capture drift regardless of the wind direction. Mortality peaked between day 9 and day 10. The fish kill lasted at least 26 days, with estimates of mortality ranging from 18,000-30,000 fish. Coordinating with resource partners and the media to disseminate information without alarming the public was the largest drain on staff resources during the event. KHV may have done in one month what two years of removal efforts failed to accomplish. Post-kill electrofishing surveys yielded catch rates 25% of those prior to the fish kill. The carp and sportfish populations will be monitored to evaluate the results of the fish kill.
Title: Movement and Use of Backwater Areas of the Illinois River by Asian Carp
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
11:00 am - 11:20 am
Authors: Marybeth Brey, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale; David Glover, The Ohio State University; and James Garvey, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
Abstract: The ability of Asian carp to move long distances in relatively short time periods has been documented in the Illinois River; however, drivers of these movements are largely unknown. Prior research indicated that movement rates were positively correlated with river discharge and that Asian carp tended to use backwater habitat as staging areas prior to long distance movements. To quantify how and when Asian carp used backwater habitats, VR2W receivers were placed in four different backwater areas of the Illinois River (Swan Lake, Starved Rock reach, Marseilles reach, and Dresden Island reach). To relate movement to river discharge and river stage, we developed relationships between river discharge (using an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler; ADCP) and stage height (from the USACE and USGS gaging stations). Immigration, emigration, and movement rates of approximately 400 Asian carp were monitored in relation to daily changes in river discharge for each backwater area in 2013. Pulses of fish movement to the main channel (observed as low numbers of fish detections in backwater areas) tended to occur when river discharge increased, especially during the spawning season (April-June). Determining how changes in Asian carp density, discharge, and other environmental parameters affect these movement rates are important considerations for forecasting population responses to removal efforts in the Illinois River.
Title: Use of Hypercarbia as a Chemical Deterrent to Prevent the Spread of Juvenile Asian Carp
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
11:20 am - 11:40 am
Authors: Clark E. Dennis III, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences; Daniel F. Kates, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences; Shivani Adhikari, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences; Will Cejtin, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences; Cory D. Suski, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Abstract: Asian carp are invasive, filter feeding fishes that have quickly become the most abundant fishes in many portions of the Midwestern United States. While Asian carp are currently contained within the Mississippi River basin by a pair of electrified barriers, these fish have the potential to negatively impact the Great Lakes ecosystem if this barrier is overcome. Novel barrier technologies would help supplement the existing barrier, providing an additional mechanism to prevent Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes. Therefore, the overall goal of this project was to determine the effectiveness of carbon dioxide as a chemical deterrent for juvenile Asian carp movement. This goal was achieved by using a combination of physiological and behavioral experiments. Physiological experiments were performed by exposing fishes to elevated carbon dioxide environments and measuring stress-related gene expression in tissues. Behavioral experiments were performed by exposing fishes to elevated carbon dioxide environments to determine the carbon dioxide concentration that was required to illicit an active avoidance response. Results from these experiments demonstrate CO2 concentrations ranging from 70-120 mg/L will induce the upregulation of multiple gene pathways related to stress, while concentrations near 200 mg/L will cause fishes to actively avoid CO2 environments. Therefore, carbon dioxide appears to have great potential as a chemical deterrent to prevent the spread of juvenile Asian carp.
Title: Solving Mysteries of the Snails
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
11:40 am - 12:00 pm
Authors: Danielle M. Haak, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Craig R. Allen, U.S. Geological Survey, Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Kent A. Fricke, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Noelle M. Hart, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Michelle L. Hellman, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Robert A. Kill, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Kristine T. Nemec, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Kevin L. Pope, U.S. Geological Survey, Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Nicholas A. Smeenk, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Bruce J. Stephen, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Daniel R. Uden, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Kody M. Unstad, University of Nebraska Lincoln; Ashley E. VanderHam, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Alec Wong, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Abstract: The Chinese Mystery Snail (Bellamya chinensis) is native to Asia, but can be found in reservoirs in at least 27 states, as well as several Great Lakes and the Niagara River. Little is known about the abundance and distribution of Chinese Mystery Snails within U.S. aquatic systems. In southeastern Nebraska, multiple populations have been discovered. Here we present our ongoing assessment of mystery snails in Nebraska, which focuses on the ecology and management of this invasive species. In particular, we present information regarding the species geographic distribution in Nebraska, its population abundance in Wild Plum Lake, its fecundity, its mortality, its movement potential, its shell strength, native fish predation upon it, its upper and lower thermal tolerance, its desiccation resistance, and its tolerance to rotenone. Results include a population density estimate of 5.2 snails/m2 and population estimate of 170,000 - 250,000 (wet biomass of 2,100 - 3,100 kg) in Wild Plum Lake. Most females contain developing young, with an average of 25 young/female and a maximum of 133. Average straight line distance travelled was 2.07 m and maximum distance was 6.24 m. Adult Chinese mystery snails are capable of surviving at least 9 weeks without supplied food or water. Survival may be related to size. All adult snails exposed to rotenone-treated water for 72 hours survived; however, juveniles experienced high 88% mortality. We conclude that Chinese mystery snails are likely to remain and increase as a member of Nebraska's fauna, and that management of mystery snails will be difficult.
FISHERIES TECHNIQUES
Monday, January 27
10:40 a.m. - 4:40 p.m.
Title: Dentary Bone Chemistry as an Indicator of Environmental History for Paddlefish
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
10:40 am - 11:00 am
Authors: Lindsey R. Bock, Southern Illinois University Carbondale; Greg W. Whitledge, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Abstract: Improved knowledge of recruitment sources and habitat use by paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) during early life would be valuable to conservation of this important commercial and recreational species. Trace element composition of fish hard parts (e.g., otoliths, fin rays and spines) has emerged as a powerful technique to identify natal environment and reconstruct environmental history of many fish species. In paddlefish, dentary bones are the primary aging structure, but whether dentaries reflect environmental chemistry analogous to hard parts in other fish species is unknown. The purpose of this study was to evaluate dentary bone chemistry as a natural marker of environmental history for age-0 paddlefish. Strontium:calcium (Sr:Ca) and stable isotope (?2H and ?18O) ratios of dentaries obtained from paddlefish of known environmental history were strongly correlated with water Sr:Ca and isotopic signatures. Fish exposed to water spiked with Sr in a laboratory experiment exhibited elevated dentary Sr:Ca compared to control fish. River water Sr:Ca data and a linear regression relating water and dentary Sr:Ca were used to calculate Sr:Ca ?signatures? indicative of potential natal environments for paddlefish in middle Mississippi River (MMR). Natal environment for individual, age-0 paddlefish collected from the MMR was determined from dentary core Sr:Ca. Results indicated that 35-65% of age-0 paddlefish were of MMR origin, 30-45% were immigrants from the Missouri River, and <20% originated in the upper Mississippi River or tributaries. Multiple natal environments indicate that several spawning areas are present in the Mississippi River basin. Results of this study provide new insight into important natal environments for paddlefish and will enable additional studies to investigate the influence of natal environment on paddlefish recruitment dynamics.
Title: Efficiently Indexing Channel Catfish Density, Biomass and Growth with Baited-Hoopnets
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
11:00 am - 11:20 am
Authors: Darcy Cashatt, Iowa DNR; George Scholten, Iowa DNR; Lewis Bruce, Iowa DNR
Abstract: Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) are one of the most sought after sport fish species in Iowa and large fingerlings (>152mm) are stocked into almost every lake in the state to support put-grow-take angling. To enable managers to make the most efficient use of a limited hatchery product, we endeavored to determine which parameters would provide the best trend data for managers to rapidly assess populations and make inferences about density, biomass and growth in one lift of baited-hoop nets. Mark-recapture population estimates from 32 Iowa lakes and impoundments were completed within a month at each lake from 2005 through 2010. An in-depth analysis of these population data combined with catfish stocking rates, predator abundance and water quality parameters was completed with recursive partitioning. Regression trees from this analysis showed the most useful variables to index catfish population density, biomass and growth were; the catch per unit of effort (CPUE) of catfish < 11, the proportional size distribution for fish 508mm and longer (PSD-508), measures of catfish weight and Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) electrofishing catch per unit of effort (CPUE). Stocking rate, though significantly linearly related to density estimates, was relatively unimportant as a population index. High density populations were generally composed of few large fish (>508mm) with low relative weights. A high CPUE of sub-stock-size catfish (<280mm) was indicative of a high density population. Tracking these parameters over time will be useful to fishery managers to efficiently monitor progress towards reaching management goals.
Title: Shocking Results: Fish Responses to Standard Electrosampling
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
11:20 am - 11:40 am
Authors: Edward F Culver, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign & Illinois Natural History Survey; John H Chick, Illinois Natural History Survey
Abstract: Fisheries research conducted from 1960-1990 supports a general consensus that pulsed-DC electrofishing injures less fishes than AC electrofishing. Much of this research focused on salmonids. More recent non-salmonid studies suggest pulsed-DC electrofishing can cause significant injuries to fishes. Controlled laboratory studies using bluegill, channel catfish, black crappie, and largemouth bass have reported injury rates between 0-50% and 0-45% for hemorrhaging and spinal injury, respectively. Studies assessing injury rates in the field are infrequent. In preliminary research, we found a spinal injury rate of 55% for silver carp collected with boat pulsed-DC electrofishing. With the extensive use of pulsed-DC electrofishing it is important to determine if this high rate of spinal injury is exclusive to silver carp, size specific, or unique certain to electrofishing settings. We will address these questions using fishes collected through two standardized boat pulsed-DC electrofishing protocols: 1) the Long Term Resource Monitoring Program and 2) the Long Term Illinois, Mississippi, Ohio, and Wabash River Fish Study funded through the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program. Specifically, we will euthanize and necropsy bluegill, channel catfish, largemouth bass, silver carp, gizzard shad, freshwater drum, and common carp to test for spinal fracturing or hemorrhaging.
Title: A line in the mud: Setline angling on the Missouri River, Nebraska
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
11:40 am - 12:00 pm
Authors: Brandon Eder, NGPC
Abstract: Little is known about the setline fishery on the Middle Missouri River, Nebraska. Setline anglers seldom show up in creel surveys and often don't respond to mail surveys, making it difficult for managers to accurately measure the impact these anglers have on the fishery. Studies have found that setline anglers harvested more catfish of all species than rod and reel anglers. The goal of this study is to determine the feasibility of evaluating setline angling on the Missouri River. Objectives of this study are 1) to inventory setlines at four sites on the channelized portion of the Missouri River and 2) analyze data from the setline inventory for patterns (e.g. seasonal trends in effort, spatial trends, equipment use) that will allow Nebraska Game and Parks Commission staff to mimic methods used by setline anglers in future studies regarding catch and harvest of catfish. Boat surveys were performed at fixed sites near Blair, Omaha and Plattsmouth, Nebraska and Hamburg, Iowa. Both banks of an 8-km portion of river were surveyed for active setlines (lines that contain hooks and are in reasonably good condition), inactive setlines (lines that contain hooks that are rusted or broken), and remnants of trotlines. This paper presents preliminary findings related to setline effort and setline detectability at four sites on the Missouri River in Nebraska.
ATTENDEE LUNCH ~ 12:00 p.m. - 1:20 p.m.
Title: The Development of a Larval Pallid Sturgeon Bioenergetics Model
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
1:20 pm - 1:40 pm
Authors: Laura Heironimus, South Dakota State University; David Deslauriers, South Dakota State University; Steven R. Chipps, USGS, South Dakota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Abstract: Since becoming a listed endangered species in 1990, the pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) larvae have remained somewhat of an enigma to Missouri River scientists. To increase available data and knowledge on the larval pallid sturgeon life-stage, the objectives of this study were to determine the optimal temperatures for growth and consumption by means of bioenergetics modeling. Pallid sturgeon (range 9- 100 mm), were subjected to a range of temperatures commonly found throughout the Missouri River (13 ? 24?C) during the growing season. Static respirometry techniques were used to quantify routine respiration rates (R), while short- and long-term growth trials were performed to determine maximum consumption rates (Cmax) and maximal growth (G) conditions. In addition, critical thermal maxima (CTM) was assessed in order to evaluate the effect of fish size and acclimation temperature on the functional temperature range of this species. These parameters will allow for the understanding of energetic requirements for larval pallid sturgeon, to make growth predictions based on habitat conditions available to naturally occurring pallid sturgeon, and to determine availability of optimal temperature ranges within the Missouri River.
Title: A State-Space Model for Estimating Walleye Spatial Structure in a Data Limited Heterogeneous Waterway in Northern Michigan
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
1:40 pm - 2:00 pm
Authors: Seth J. Herbst, Michigan State University; Bryan S. Stevens, Fisheries and Wildlife Dept. Michigan State University; Daniel B. Hayes, Fisheries and Wildlife Dept. Michigan State University; Patrick A. Hanchin, Michigan Department of Natural Resources - Fisheries Division
Abstract: Inland fisheries often lack long-term data sets sufficient for estimating population demographics for harvest management. Further difficulties arise for water-bodies within treaty boundaries where game species such as the walleye (Sander vitreus) are co-managed and harvest is allocated to tribal and recreational fisheries. Michigan's Inland Waterway falls within the boundary of the 1836 Treaty and consists of four lakes (Burt, Crooked, Mullett, and Pickerel) that are interconnected by a series of rivers. Following the 2007 Consent Decree, walleye harvest quotas within the waterway are based on spring mark-recapture population estimates for individual lakes using a closed population model. This model assumes that each lake is a closed system, however, connectivity of the waterway and historical tagging studies suggested that walleye movement could be substantial. We developed a state-space model, fitted using Bayesian estimation techniques, to determine the spatial structure of walleye stocks in this waterway. During the 2011-2013 spawning periods walleye (Total N= 12,942) were captured and marked with an individually-numbered jaw tag from each water-body within the waterway. Movement was quantified using recoveries from jaw tag returns from tribal/recreational fishermen. Our model took a novel approach by incorporating prior information on lake specific spawning site fidelity, waterway specific mortality estimates, and walleye specific regional tag shedding and reporting rates. Substantial movement among specific lakes/rivers within the waterway was observed. Given the walleye spatial structure within the waterway, population estimates and therefore harvest quotas can be improved by using observed movement dynamics to delineate population structure.
Title: A comparison of telemetry techniques for tracking migratory fishes in large navigable water ways
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
2:00 pm - 2:20 pm
Authors: Dave Herzog, Big Rivers and Wetlands Field Station, Missouri Department of Conservation, Jackson, MO; Quinton Phelps, Big Rivers and Wetlands Field Station, Missouri Department of Conservation, Jackson, MO; Sara Tripp Big Rivers and Wetlands Field Station, Missouri Department of Conservation, Jackson, MO; Harry E. Brock, III, American Electric Power, Paducah KY; Blake Denton, Marquette Transportation, Paducah, KY
Abstract: Telemetry of fishes in large navigable water ways is logistically challenging given that migratory distance commonly exceeds jurisdictional boundaries. Recent advances in stationary telemetry receivers have provided a cost effective means for the continuous monitoring of fixed point stations across these boundaries and within large navigable waterways. However, the fixed station monitoring is only useful when the fish species are within range of the receiver and thus many times provides only a single location event. Boat mounted telemetry is commonly used to locate a transmitted animal. Although with boat mounted telemetry researchers commonly spend hundreds of hours searching for transmitter implanted fish. Stationary telemetry receivers coupled with boat mounted telemetry improves detections?yet jurisdictional boundaries restrict the information of large scale movement patterns. The Missouri Department of Conservation Big Rivers and Wetlands Field Station began a collaborative effort with American Electric Power (AEP) River Operations and Marquette transportation to investigate the use of towboats for telemetry monitoring of fish. Each telemetry technique offers additive information about migratory fishes in large navigable rivers. However, some methods may be impractical given financial constraints of researchers. We present results of each telemetry method and describe the benefits that each method provides for tracking migratory fishes in large navigable water ways.
Title: Assessment of Habitat Use, Range, and Movement Patterns of Flathead Catfish in the Wabash River Using Ultrasonic Telemetry
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
2:20 pm - 2:40 pm
Authors: Sarah Huck, Eastern Illinois University; Cassi Moody, Eastern Illinois University; Les Frankland, Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Robert Colombo, Eastern Illinois University
Abstract: Flathead Catfish (Pylodictis olivaris) are one of the most sought after predators for recreational and commercial fisheries in the Mississippi River basin; however, little is known about this species habitat use, range, and movement patterns. This information is essential to ensure the system contains necessary habitats to support this important top predator. The Wabash River is an ideal system to investigate movement and habitat use because the lower 400 miles is completely free flowing. Since 2012, we tagged a total of 44 Flathead Catfish with ultrasonic transmitters in the lower 200 miles of this system. We conducted monthly active tracking at tagged sites, seasonal whole river tracking, and seasonal continuous 24 hour tracking. Flathead Catfish range averaged 1,117 ? 337m, and varied from 28m to 4,217m. We found seasonal differences among habitat use and movements. During spring (pre-spawn/spawn) catfish predominantly utilized shoreline habitats (100%) within logjams (63%) and runs (38%). In the summer (post-spawn) catfish had the largest home range (average= 12,017 ? 2,697m2) and utilized all parts of the river; including main channel and shorelines. During fall and winter, fish utilized the smallest areas (fall average= 505 ? 40.5m2, winter average= 335?65m2) within shoreline habitats, and predominantly remained within logjams (fall= 66%, winter= 46%). These results can be helpful for managers to ensure that necessary habitats are available for this species to persist in the Wabash River. Our results suggest that Flathead Catfish are more mobile than previously thought, and they exhibit seasonal variation in habitat use and movements.
Title: Comparing Four Benthic Macroinvertebrate Bioassessments: Are We Meeting National Water Quality Monitoring Intent?
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
2:40 pm - 3:00 pm
Authors: Jamie K. Lau, Department of Biology, Ball State University; Thomas E. Lauer, Department of Biology, Ball State University
Abstract: The objective of our study was to determine whether the macroinvertebrate bioassessments created by Indiana (Index of Biotic Integrity, mIBI), Ohio (Invertebrate Community Index, ICI), Virginia (Virginia Stream Condition Index, VSCI), and West Virginia (West Virginia Stream Condition Index, WVSCI) provided similar stream impairment categorizations. Data from 100 Indiana and 100 West Virginia stream stations were used to compare the assessments. With Indiana data, the proportion of impaired streams according to the ICI was significantly lower (-22%) than the proportion determined by the mIBI. Using the West Virginia data, the proportion of impaired streams according to the ICI (-20%) and mIBI (-13%) was significantly lower than the proportion determined by the WVSCI. We are suggesting the current state practices and methodologies for assessing U.S. streams limit data comparability nationwide; thus creating an unintended outcome of the Clean Water Act of 1972.
BREAK ~ 3:00 p.m. - 3:40 p.m.
Title: Standardization of Catch-per-Effort Data for Yellow Perch in Lake Erie: Effect of Wind Conditions on Survey Indices
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
3:40 pm - 4:00 pm
Authors: Lisa Peterson, Michigan State University; Dr. Michael Jones, Michigan State University
Abstract: Fishery-independent surveys are used in many fisheries stock assessment models to represent an unbiased trend in population abundance. However, many environmental factors that also vary over time have the potential to influence the catchability of survey gear. To account for factors other than abundance, the catch-rate can be standardized. In Lake Erie there is an annual trawl survey for yellow perch (Perca flasvescens) performed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. This survey started in 1990 and spans the U.S. waters of the western and central basins of the lake. We used this trawl data to develop a generalized linear mixed model that included environmental factors. The environmental factors investigated included dissolved oxygen, temperature, turbidity, water depth, and wind condition. Wind condition has the potential to affect the lake's currents, and subsequently alter the geometry of the net used in the survey, but it is not often incorporated into survey standardization. We then used model selection to identify the environmental factors that significantly contributed to the standardized index. By comparing trends between the best-fit model for standardization and the non-standardized catch-per-effort data we determined the effect of including the significant environmental factors. A standardized survey index can lead to more accurate estimates of trends in the abundance of yellow perch, which in turn can lead to better management. Also, wind is a rarely used environmental factor for standardization of catch-per-effort data and this research presents a way to incorporate it into the model along with other factors.
Title: Tracking Young of Year Assemblages Using an Electrified Mini-Missouri Trawl
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
4:00 pm - 4:20 pm
Authors: Sharon Rayford, Eastern Illinois University; Eric Bollinger, Eastern Illinois University; Clint Morgeson, Eastern Illinois University; Les Frankland, Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Robert Colombo, Eastern Illinois University
Abstract: Studies of larval and juvenile fish assemblages are uncommon on large rivers due to haband itat variability the difficulty and time consuming nature associated with small bodied fish collection and identification. We sampled small-bodied fish in the Wabash River using a DC-electrified mini-Missouri trawl to assess the spatio-temporal variation in young of year and small-bodied fish species. Trawling was accomplished monthly from May to September along 8 bends. At each site we sampled the inside bend, outside bend, and main channel. We collected a total of 1691 fish from nine different families, and 37 species. The most frequently occurring species were channel catfish (35.8%) and shoal chub (29%). The size of fish captured ranged from 10 to 870 mm (mean = 98.1, SE = 5.29), with 85% of the catch being under 120 mm in length. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (MDS) was utilized to assess the sampling differences between habitat types. We found the inside bends were significantly different in species composition than the main channel or outside bend habitats (p < 0.05). Additionally, the inside bend assemblage was significantly different upstream compared to downstream of the White River confluence (p = 0.03). One factor driving this difference is an effect of water depth. Larger bodied fish were also sampled, suggesting that an electrified trawl is capable of sampling adults, though it is more effective at sampling juvenile fish. These larger fish are often excluded from bottom trawling gears.
Title: Use and Validation of Side-scan Sonar to Assess Substrate Composition in the Littoral Zone of North Temperate Lakes
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
4:20 pm - 4:40 pm
Authors: Jacob T. Richter, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Brian L. Sloss, U.S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and Daniel A. Isermann, U.S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Abstract: Evaluation of littoral zone fish habitat is usually accomplished using cost and time-expensive transect-based methods. Inexpensive (~$3,000), commercially available side-scan sonar units have been increasingly employed to map benthic and littoral zone habitat in stream studies and may offer a more efficient means of assessing littoral-zone fish habitat in lakes (e.g., walleye spawning habitat). The objective of this study was to determine if side-scan sonar can accurately and efficiently classify substrate composition in nearshore littoral zones of Wisconsin lakes compared to a traditional transect-based method. Sixteen lakes in northern Wisconsin (47 to 1,564 hectares) were evaluated. Side-scan sonar substrate composition estimation was validated using a series of sonar image screen captures along locations of confirmed substrates. Proportional littoral zone substrate composition was estimated for both methods at 100 equally-spaced locations on each lake. Accuracy of proportional substrate (e.g., 20% versus 50% cobble) estimates between the side-scan sonar (observed) and transect-based method (expected) were compared at the lake level using chi-square goodness of fit. Efficiency was measured as the proportional time (hours) required to complete each method. Preliminary results (5 lakes) show similar substrate composition estimates between both methods (p-values > 0.05); however, on average, side-scan sonar estimates were completed in a third of the time required for transects (5.9 hours vs. 18.1 hours). These results suggest side-scan sonar provides a practical, accurate, and efficient alternative to assess littoral zone habitat on a lake-wide basis, where high resolution, site-specific microhabitat is not needed.
Title: A Framework for Evaluating Aquatic Biodiversity Conservation in Existing Conservation Networks
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
4:40 pm - 5:00 pm
Authors: Nicholas A. Sievert, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, University of Missouri; Craig P. Paukert, U.S. Geological Survey, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Jodi Whittier, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, University of Missouri
Abstract: Conservation networks are an important tool for landscape-based conservation of aquatic biodiversity. Our objective was to develop a framework for evaluating existing conservation networks ability to conserve stream fish biodiversity. We created a measure of biodiversity value based on species representation, species vulnerability, and species-specific habitat integrity requirements which allowed us to rank network units, reach scale watersheds, and areas outside of the network from most to least valuable for stream fish conservation. We then utilized this framework to evaluate protected areas in Missouri. Species representation was calculated using an ensemble modeling approach which averaged the outputs of Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines, Generalized Additive Models, Random Forest Models, and Boosted Regression Trees which met minimum evaluation standards. Species vulnerability was calculated based on indices which measured species vulnerability to stream temperature warming, alterations to flow regime, and habitat degradation. Upstream integrity requirements were calculated using species response penalty curves which were calculated based on species occurrence rates at three levels of upstream watershed degradation (<33%, 33-66%, and >66% degraded). Using this information we were able to identify the most valuable protected areas, most valuable stream reaches within protected areas, and the most valuable stream reaches outside of protected areas. This framework could be used by managers, planners, and funding agencies to inform decisions regarding management actions, allocation of funding, and land acquisition.
FISHERIES TECHNIQUES
Tuesday, January 28
10:40 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Title: ImageJ CASA: an Inexpensive and Accurate Resource in Determining Sperm Quality in Fish
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 28
10:40 am - 11:00 am
Authors: Thor Tackett, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Dr. Shannon Fisher, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Abstract: When poor fertilization occurs, fisheries biologists often assume the egg is the problem; however, sperm condition and viability can also lead to reduced fertilization. Fish semen analyses have become specialized using Computer Assisted Semen Analyzers (CASA). CASA systems reduce human error and greatly increase attainable data breadth. Unfortunately, commercial CASA systems are expensive and designed with narrow specifications, leaving little room for modification. Therefore, cost effective and adaptable alternatives are needed. In 2006, The National Institute of Health released a CASA plugin for their existing free imaging software, imageJ. This plugin allows users to capture image sequences with existing technologies that can be assessed in a manner consistent with others in the field. ImageJ CASA has user-determined parameters on which to base results. The inexpensive software provides a valuable assessment tool to determine sperm quality. CASA-based assessments were utilized in an assessment of northern pike Esox lucius sperm quality in Minnesota. Hatchery fertilization rates have been declining and gamete problems were brought into question. We collected semen and sequenced images using imageJ CASA to identify differences in sperm quality among fish from five Minnesota lakes. Assessment parameters included percent motility, beat cross frequency, and progression with preliminary significance P < 0.05 of percent motile between multiple lakes. Further sampling is planned in the spring of 2014 to explore temporal differences in sperm quality.
Title: Modeling the Effects of Climate Change on Growth and Abundance of Lake Fishes in Michigan
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 28
11:00 am - 11:20 am
Authors: Kevin Wehrly, Institute for Fisheries, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and University of Michigan; Jim Breck, Institute for Fisheries, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and University of Michigan; Zhenming Su, Institute for Fisheries, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and University of Michigan; Li Wang, International Joint Commission
Abstract: Understanding how climate changes will impact lake habitats and fishes is critical for developing effective management and conservation strategies. To better understand the vulnerability of inland lake resources to climate change, we first characterized the landscape context of Michigan lakes across multiple spatial scales. We then used classification trees to develop models predicting growth and abundance of Michigan lake fishes based upon landscape variables. Models included variables that characterize lake position, size, connectivity, and thermal regime. We then used these models to estimate current statewide patterns of species growth and abundance, and to assess how these patterns will likely change under projected climate change scenarios.
Title: Climate Change Simulations Predict Altered Biotic Response in a Thermally Heterogeneous Stream System
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 28
11:20 am - 11:40 am
Authors: Jacob Westhoff, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Craig P. Paukert, U.S. Geological Survey, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Abstract: Climate change is predicted to increase water temperatures in lotic systems, but little is known about how changes in air temperature might affect thermally heterogeneous lotic systems and their biota. Our objectives were to create a spatially explicit model of mean daily water temperature for a spring-fed Ozark stream and use downscaled climate models to predict the number of days meeting suitable stream temperature for Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, and Ozark Hellbenders. Longitudinal temperature transects of 230 km of river were conducted during the hottest and coldest portions of 2012 to determine spatial variability of water temperature. Twenty-six stationary temperature loggers were installed in the river to account for temporal variation. Multiple regression models using variables related to season, mean daily air temperature, and a spatial influence factor were strong predictors of mean daily water temperature (r2 = 0.98; RMSE = 0.82). Downscaled climate data for two climate models were substituted into the regression model for mean daily air temperature and used to predict daily water temperatures for the years 2040 and 2080. Both models predicted approximately 2 ?C increases in water temperature by 2080. Variable patterns emerged in the number of optimal growth days for each species based on the climate model, time, and the amount of groundwater influence. Course-scale shifts in species distributions induced by climate change will likely occur, but fine-scale shifts may also occur in thermally heterogeneous systems forcing species to occupy different sections of stream to experience optimal temperature conditions.
Title: Using Maxent Models to Identify and Prioritize the Potential Habitats of Inland Fish Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) in Michigan
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 28
11:40 am - 12:00 pm
Authors: Ken Yeh, Institute for Fisheries Research, University of Michigan, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and Michigan State University; Arthur Cooper, Institute for Fisheries Research, University of Michigan, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and Michigan State University; Kevin Wehrly, Institute for Fisheries Research, University of Michigan and Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Abstract: Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) are species delineated under the Michigan Wildlife Action Plan (MWAP) for their small or declining population sizes and increasing vulnerability to threats. Improving the knowledge in the habitat characteristics and spatial distributions of SGCN can result in better and more efficient conservation and wildlife management planning. Maximum Entropy (Maxent) modeling was introduced in 2004 and has grown increasingly popular because it typically outperforms other species distribution models using presence-only records as input. In this research, we constructed a GIS database of key landscape variables and developed Maxent models for 10 inland lake and 26 stream fish SGCN. We then overlaid predicted distributions with anthropogenic threats, such as agriculture, dams, and invasive species, to identify the critical habitats with both high distribution probability and high risks. Our results showed strong overall model performance in most species with average AUC scores of 0.94. For lake and stream fishes, measures of water body size, thermal regime, and hydrology were important predictors of species distributions. Predicted distributions indicated that most SGCN suitable habitats are located in the southern part of Michigan where most agricultural and urban development activities occur in the state. Our modeling results provide the basis for understanding the effects of climate change and for prioritizing management activities such as sampling, habitat restoration, and barrier removal.
FISHERIES MANAGEMENT
Monday, January 27
10:40 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Title: Use of Maximum Size Limits in Walleyes and Northern Pike to Reduce Human Exposure to Mercury Contamination in Deer Lake, Michigan
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
10:40 am - 11:00 am
Authors: Patrick Hanchin, Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Abstract: Fish consumption advisories in Michigan are developed based on contaminant concentrations in fish greater than statewide minimum size limits. While a reasonable approach given a statewide minimum size limit, it may not be the best approach for more contaminated waterbodies. Deer Lake, an Area of Concern in Marquette County, Michigan has elevated mercury levels and has been managed under catch and release regulations since 1991. However, mercury levels in walleyes (Sander vitreus) and northern pike (Esox lucius) declined and have stabilized since 2000. The improvement has prompted a relaxation of fish consumption advisories. Some anglers are interested in opening the lake under statewide regulations, though others prefer the high catch rates that have been realized under catch and release regulations. Given that anglers are not accustomed to any harvest, Deer Lake provided an opportunity to investigate maximum size limits (MSLs) for minimizing human exposure to mercury. I utilized exponential regressions to predict mercury concentrations for smaller fish that are not usually evaluated and determined consumption guidelines for various MSLs. MSLs were then evaluated with population modeling to determine the effects on the fishery. Results indicate that MSLs for walleyes and northern pike would allow 4-fold increases in recommended consumption over the standard advisories while populations would only experience modest decreases in spawning potential ratio. The next steps will be verification of the predicted mercury concentrations for smaller fish via targeted collections and communication of the results to constituents in order to determine the most appropriate management strategy for moving forward.
Title: An Age Structured Model to Predict Effects of Changes in Angler Behavior, Regulations or Environment on Lake St Clair Great Lakes Muskellunge
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
11:00 am - 11:20 am
Authors: Jason Smith, Michigan State University; Daniel Hayes, Michigan State University; Mary Tate Bremigan, Michigan State University
Abstract: The Lake St Clair Great Lakes muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) (LSCM) fishery currently is entirely self sustaining and dominated by a catch and release ethic. Catch rates of LSCM are among the highest of any waterbody, and trophy fish are relatively commonplace. The proximity of Lake St Clair to a large number of potential new muskellunge anglers, angler interest in a winter spear fishery, and warming temperatures associated with climate change pose a potential risk to the quality of this fishery. We developed an age-structured equilibrium yield model to explore the potential for increased angling effort, a winter spearing season, warming temperatures, or a combination of the three to result in an unacceptable change in the demographics of the LSCM population. Our modeling of the LSCM fishery indicates that the current high rate of voluntary release largely buffer LSCM abundance and size structure from significant increases in fishing effort. Simulation of a winter spearing fishery indicated that spearing effort and harvest would have to be quite extensive for LSCM abundance and size structure to change substantially. However, the modeled catch of trophy fish is sensitive to potential declines in growth due to warming climate. The model predicts significant declines in both abundance and size structure when all three factors are combined at relatively high levels. While the LSCM fishery appears to be fairly insensitive to modest changes in fishing effort, temperature, and spearing harvest, uncertainty about potential change in these factors point to a conservative approach in regulatory change.
Title: A Case Study of Applied Human Dimensions: The Kansas Commercial Fish Bait Program
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
11:20 am - 11:40 am
Authors: Susan Steffen, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism; Chris Steffen, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism; Jason Goeckler, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism
Abstract: The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) enacted new bait fish regulations in 2012 to help combat the spread of aquatic nuisance species (ANS). The commercial fish bait program was revised and dedicated staff were assigned program oversight, which included biannual visits to permit holders businesses to ensure compliance. In 2013, a survey was sent to the permit holders to determine their level of understanding of the program and how it could be improved. Survey results indicated 98% of permit holders understood why the regulations were enacted and 53% approved of how the program was implemented. Ten recommendations were suggested to ameliorate the program, of which five will be presented: 1) continue commercial fish bait program visits with dedicated, trained staff, 2) develop a level of risk based on permit applications and previous visits to inform staff where more resources need to be concentrated, 3) increase enforcement of commercial fish bait regulations, 4) gradually phase-out KDWPT-provided receipts for permit holders, and 5) educate permit holders and the public that birds do not spread zebra mussels. This was a case study of how KDWPT successfully used human dimensions information to guide the commercial fish bait program throughout its inception, implementation, and evaluation.
Title: Using Angler Diaries to Assess Catch and Harvest Trends for Blue Catfish and Flathead Catfish in a Missouri Reservoir
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
11:40 am - 12:00 pm
Authors: Kevin Sullivan, Missouri Department of Conservation
Abstract: The Missouri Department of Conservation suspected that blue catfish and flathead catfish were being overexploited by anglers in Truman Reservoir in west-central Missouri. A volunteer catfish angler creel was conducted during 2003-2005 to assess catch, harvest trends and the proportional contribution of the two catfish species to the catfish fishery by reservoir catfish anglers. A total of 308 volunteers were trained and asked to fill out daily diary forms including catfish catch and harvest information as well as a trip rating. Anglers who participated in the program were entered into a random drawing at the end of each season and received prizes ranging in value from US$15 to $100. A total of 138 anglers (45% of the volunteers) participated in the program by turning in at least one diary. Catch and harvest data were collected from 1,055 diary forms and 2,232 catfish angler trips. Anglers reported length and harvest information on 5,920 catfish (including channel catfish) and reported catching nearly 10 times more blue catfish (3,759) than flathead catfish (397). Anglers who targeted blue catfish caught 2.7 blue catfish per angler trip while anglers who targeted flathead catfish caught 0.3 flathead catfish per angler trip. Only 20% and 13% of blue catfish and flathead catfish, respectively, were caught with pole and line. Forty-one percent of volunteer anglers assigned a poor rating to their fishing trips. These results were used along with results from a concurrent exploitation study to recommended regulation changes to protect the blue catfish fishery at Truman Reservoir.
FISHERIES MANAGEMENT - A
Wednesday, January 29
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Title: Stock Characteristics of Lake Whitefish in Lake Michigan
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
8:00 am - 8:20 am
Authors: Matthew Belnap, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Daniel Isermann, U.S. Geological Survey Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Brian Sloss, U.S. Geological Survey Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Justin VanDeHey, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Abstract: Lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) support important recreational, commercial, and tribal fisheries in the Great Lakes, including Lake Michigan. Genetic analyses indicate at least six distinct lake whitefish stocks exist in Lake Michigan, resulting in a mixed-stock fishery. Biological characteristics could vary among stocks, resulting in stock-specific responses to exploitation that are not fully accounted for under current management practices. The objective of our study was to determine if stocks differ in terms of growth, maturation, age structure, condition, and fecundity. Initial results indicate that some biological differences exist among stocks; continued analysis will determine if these differences are meaningful from a management standpoint.
Title: Assessing Wiper (Morone saxatilis X M. chrysops) Diet in the Presence of White Perch (Morone americana) in El Dorado and Cheney Reservoirs
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
8:20 am - 8:40 am
Authors: Scott Brack, Brian Serpan, Dr. William Stark, Fort Hays State University, Department of Biological Sciences
Abstract: White perch, Morone americana, were inadvertently stocked in Cheney Reservoir in 1992 and discovered in El Dorado Reservoir in 2009. White perch management plans were established at Cheney and El Dorado in 2003 and 2010, respectively, which increased minimum length limits and decreased creel limits of large piscivores in an attempt to provide top-down biological control of white perch. Our objectives were to assess prey use of large piscivores using stomach contents and stable isotope analysis in an effort to evaluate the efficacy of regulations in modifying size structure of white perch populations. Fish were captured through the growing season in 2013 using short-set gillnets and electrofishing techniques. Individuals were subjected to gastro-scope or gastric lavage methods as necessary and a small sample of muscle tissue was excised. Analysis of the stomach contents from Wipers (Morone saxatilis X M. chrysops) will be presented.
Title: Living on the Edge: Stocked Brown Trout Salmo Trutta Success in Ohio Streams
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
8:40 am - 9:00 am
Authors: Joseph D. Conroy, Inland Fisheries Research Unit, Division of Wildlife, Ohio Department of Natural Resources; Anthony R. Sindt, Inland Fisheries Research Unit
Abstract: Since 1997, the Ohio Division of Wildlife has stocked annually at least 25,000 yearling brown trout Salmo trutta into three program streams in an effort to diversify angling opportunities. These three streams: Clear Creek, Clear Fork of the Mohican River, and Mad River, were previously selected for brown trout stocking because of adequate angler access, within-stream habitat, and water temperature. During 2010 - 2013, we examined brown trout survival (as fish caught per hour during standardized stream-barge electrofishing, CPE) within and between program streams, focusing our effort on quantifying the relationship between in-stream temperature and survival as this period included two hot (2011, 2012) and one cool (2013) summer. We found that brown trout CPE decreased as the number of July days with stream temperatures exceeding the incipient lethal temperature for brown trout (24.7 degrees Celsius) increased. A linear function (CPE = 23.7 ? 0.8 x # days; F = 13.6, r-squared = 0.47, P = 0.003) described the relationship. At the extremes, Mad River had no July days exceeding the incipient lethal temperature and mean CPE ranged 20.4?35.4 fish/h whereas in 2011 and 2012 the lower Clear Fork had 29 and 31 days exceeding this temperature, respectively, and catches indicated zero survival. Obviously, heat pushes brown trout success to the edge in Ohio and programmatic success depends greatly on annual vagaries of weather. Yet some streams (Mad River) and portions of others (upper Clear Fork) support viable and even vigorous brown trout fisheries.
Title: Brook Trout in New Zealand: A Failed Introduction at 45 Degrees South
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
9:00 am - 9:20 am
Authors: Lance Dorsey, Dept. of Zoology, University of Otago; Gerry Closs, Dept. of Zoology, University of Otago; Richard Allibone, Golder Associates (NZ) Limited
Abstract: Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) were introduced to New Zealand 135 years ago at the beginning of an intense effort to naturalize many salmonid species in the Southern Hemisphere. Millions of brook trout were stocked on both the North and South Islands over a period from 1877 - 2004. Most of the surviving populations are in headwater streams in the regions of Otago and Canterbury, upstream of brown trout (Salmo trutta) populations. Mark-recapture monitoring of five populations in Otago confirmed that these populations have adopted the headwater life history characterized by early maturation (0+ & 1+), small size (>200 mm), and short life span (3yrs). This study is the first of its kind for New Zealand brook trout and while these populations do not represent a fishery, we conclude that they do have long term viability and pose a downstream invasion threat to native galaxiid fish (Galaxias sp.). Given the amount of effort put into brook trout introduction in New Zealand, these results indicate that the establishment, or re-establishment, of riverine brook trout fisheries is difficult in the presence of brown trout even if prey is abundant and habitat and water quality are near pristine.
Title: Understanding a Large and Complex Fishery: The 2012 Ohio River Angler Survey
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
9:20 am - 9:40 am
Authors: Anthony Sindt, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife
Abstract: During 18 March?20 October 2012, Ohio Division of Wildlife staff completed 75 aerial and 863 access point surveys (941 angler interviews) to quantify angling effort, catch, and harvest along a 703 km stretch of the Ohio River, which included nine Ohio River pools and tailwaters. Total angling effort was 421,797 (SE = 12,498) angler hours. In general, mean angling effort was greater in pool (36,060 h; SE = 5,039) than tailwater (10,806 h; SE = 2,229) habitats, but when relativized by habitat length (km), effort in tailwaters (39.8 h/km/d) exceeded effort in pools (2.2 h/km/d). Relative to surface area (hectares, ha), weekend summertime angling effort on the Ohio River (0.07 h/d/ha) was lower than Ohio reservoir fisheries (2.96 h/d/ha) but angler success and satisfaction was high. Despite catch rates of 0.6 fish/h in pool habitats and 1.6 fish/h in tailwater habitats, only 26% of anglers indicated ever harvesting fish during the study period. In fact, the estimated harvest of sportfish (including black bass, catfish, Sander spp., and Morone spp.) was only 22 fish/km. The Ohio River provides an important fishery and an economically-valuable resource with estimated trip-related expenditures by Ohio River anglers exceeding $2.9 million during the study period. By conducting this intensive survey we have a better understanding and appreciation of this large and complex fishery, providing managers with invaluable information to inform future Ohio River fisheries management.
Title: Blue Sucker Propagation and Growth
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
9:40 am - 10:00 am
Authors: Darby Niswonger, Missouri Department of Conservation; James Candrl, USGS-CERC
Abstract: The blue sucker (Cycleptus elongates) is a species of concern in several states and is uncommon over much of its range, presumably due to overfishing, dam construction, and habitat degradation. Few juvenile blue suckers are captured in the main stem Missouri River. The cause of this is unknown, but may be due to several factors, one of which is a rapid growth rate theory of which we tested. Adult blue suckers were captured from the Missouri River and brought to the Columbia Environmental Research Center for artificial spawning. At three days post-hatch, larval fish were stocked into two rearing ponds with approximately 3,000 in each. One pond was supplemented with artificial food and the other was not. Additionally, another group was held in indoor aquariums at a steady water temperature of 17 - 18?C, and fed an artificial diet and brine shrimp. The pond temperatures ranged from 12 - 31?C over the course of the study. The pond fish grew an average of 45 mm in the first month, with an average length of 143 mm by five months of age, lending some support to the rapid-growth theory. Stomach contents of these fish contained Daphnia sp., ostracods, snails and larval worms. The aquarium fish only grew to 40 mm by five months of age. Wild larval blue suckers captured in the Missouri River during the summer of 2013 showed similar growth rates to the blue suckers kept in the ponds, both of which had similar temperature regimes.
BREAK ~ 10:00 a.m. - 10:40 a.m.
Title: Characterizing the Abiotic and Biotic Components of Nebraska Interstate-80 Lakes: Implications for Growth of Stocked Fish Populations
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
10:40 am - 11:00 am
Authors: Rebecca Pawlak, University of Nebraska-Kearney; Casey Schoenebeck, University of Nebraska-Kearney; Julie Shaffer, University of Nebraska-Kearney; Keith Koupal, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Abstract: The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) stocks the Interstate-80 lakes of Nebraska with a variety of fish species to establish recreational sportfish opportunities for anglers. However, the physicochemical and biological characteristics likely vary among I-80 lakes which could impact the growth and survival of stocked fish. Eight pumped and 13 borrow pit type lakes were chosen to look for differences in sediment nutrients as well as taxa-specific zooplankton and macroinvertebrate differences between lake type and month. Differences in sediment nutrients were found between lake types as phosphorus in pumped lakes was greater than borrow pit lakes (F = 11.692, df = 1,122, P = 0.001). Therefore, the ratio of nitrogen to phosphorus (N:P) also differed between lake types likely influencing lake productivity. Taxa-specific densities of zooplankton and macroinvertebrates varied between lake types and months providing direction on future sportfish stockings. Characterizing the Interstate-80 lakes by lake type will help guide the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission in future fish stockings as to which lake type has the best chance of producing harvestable populations.
Title: Can Paddlefish Populations within Missouri's Large Reservoirs Support the Increasing Interest in Snagging?
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
11:00 am - 11:20 am
Authors: Ryan Hupfeld, Missouri Department of Conservation and Southeast Missouri State University; Sara Tripp*, Missouri Department of Conservation; David Herzog, Missouri Department of Conservation; and Quinton Phelps, Missouri Department of Conservation and Southeast Missouri State University
Abstract: Paddlefish are especially susceptible to overexploitation because they tend to congregate in areas during the spawning season allowing for high localized exploitation and they mature slowly often recruiting to the fishery before reaching maturation. As such, paddlefish populations must be monitored closely to ensure these fisheries can support current harvest pressure. Currently paddlefish recreational harvest occurs in 14 states and is increasing in popularity. In order to ensure sustainability of harvest by recreational anglers, many states impose seasonal restrictions, length limits, creel limits, or catch-and-release restrictions. Despite the increasing importance of these recreational fisheries, limited information in the peer-reviewed literature exists on the effects of regulations on these fisheries. Missouri is home to three large recreational fisheries (Table Rock, Truman, and Lake of the Ozarks) with Lake of the Ozarks being one of the largest snag fisheries in the United States. The primary goal of paddlefish management on Missouri's reservoir fisheries is to manage for trophy sport fisheries, where the average weight of harvested paddlefish is 30 pounds or more and at least 20% of harvested paddlefish weigh 50 pounds or more. Because of the increased interest in the recreational fishery and the lack of information existing on paddlefish in Missouri's large reservoirs, we sought to determine the current status of the paddlefish populations in the three large reservoir recreational fisheries and use this information to evaluate the effectiveness of current regulations.
Title: A Comprehensive Approach to Reservoir Fish Habitat Management in Table Rock Lake
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
11:20 am - 11:40 am
Authors: Mike Allen, Missouri Department of Conservation; Shane Bush*, Missouri Department of Conservation
Abstract: The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), Bass Pro Shops, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission recently completed a five year project to maintain and enhance the fish habitat in Table Rock Lake and serve as a pilot project in a broader national program focusing on habitat restoration within reservoirs. The primary project objectives were to improve fish habitat and water quality within Table Rock Lake and its tributaries, and improve habitat and water quality in Lake Taneycomo, the tail water of Table Rock Lake. Over 2,000 fish habitat structures comprised of stumps, rocks, pine, cedar, and hardwood trees have been installed in Table Rock Lake since 2007. MDC is using electrofishing, SCUBA surveys, radio telemetry, and angler creel surveys to evaluate the effectiveness of these habitat structures. In Lake Taneycomo, 71 boulder clusters were installed to improve trout habitat. MDC has also worked to improve watershed health by providing cost-share benefits to landowners. Over 2,000 septic tanks have been pumped around the lake in an effort to reduce non-point sources of pollution into Table Rock Lake. Additionally, eight stream bank stabilization projects have been completed in the watershed to stop soil erosion and reduce sediment input into the lake. This project has proven to be an excellent opportunity to proactively maintain and enhance fish habitat in and around two of the Midwest's most popular sport fisheries and is providing a national example for sustaining and improving reservoir sportfish populations through large-scale habitat improvements.
Title: Habitat Restoration Leads to Increased Fish Diversity and Relative Density in a Small Midwestern Stream
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
11:40 am - 12:00 pm
Authors: Manisha Pant,Eastern Illinois University, Charleston IL; Vaskar Nepal KC,Eastern Illinois University, Charleston IL; John West, Missouri Department of Conservation, MO; Trent Thomas, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, IL ; Robert E. Colombo, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston IL
Abstract: In the Midwestern United States, millions of dollars are spent on the restoration of streams. However, little research has been conducted to assess the impact of habitat enhancement on the aquatic biota. During fall 2010, IDNR/USGS restored a 1500 m stretch of Kickapoo Creek near Charleston, IL . We sought to assess the impact of this restoration on fish assemblage. Beginning fall 2009, we sampled four sites (2 control and 2 restored) twice annually (spring and fall) using an electric seine. Sampling at these sites was conducted twice preceding restoration (fall 2009 and spring 2010), once one week subsequent to restoration (fall 2010) and five times after restoration (spring and fall 2011, spring and fall 2012, and fall 2013). In the restored reaches, species richness increased and the fish community assemblage changed (perMANOVA, p < 0.005) subsequent to restoration. Relative density of fishes, particularly Ictaluridae and Cyprinidae, increased after restoration. Seasonally, fall showed higher relative density of Cyprinidae, Ictaluridae, Centrarchidae and Catostomidae compared to spring (P < 0.05). Additionally, diversity of the fish assemblage was significantly greater in fall (D 6.27) compared to spring (D 4.47) (p < 0.05). These data suggest the need for standardized sampling protocols to include season as a variable. Furthermore, the findings also demonstrate that the structure of fish populations and communities are improved by the instream restoration.
FISHERIES MANAGEMENT - B
Wednesday, January 29
8:00 a.m. - 9:40 a.m.
Title: Trends in Minnesota's Gill Net Catch Over Thirty Years: How Have Our Fish Communities Changed?
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
8:00 am - 8:20 am
Authors: Bethany Bethke and David Staples, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Abstract: As fisheries change due to climate change, habitat degradation, and introduction of non-native species, detecting and understanding large-scale shifts in community structure is imperative to effective management. Ecological stressors increasingly affect lakes beyond watershed or political boundaries by which they are typically managed, and though broad-scale analyses of trends in fish populations can be useful for management, they are rarely possible due to a lack of long-term datasets. Minnesota has used gill nets to monitor fish communities in lakes since 1940, with rigorous standardization since 1983, and we applied a random coefficient mixed effects model to mean gill net catch per unit effort to estimate statewide trends of eight key fish species (Black Crappie Pomoxis nigromaculatus, Bluegill Lepomis macrochirus, Largemouth Bass Micropterus salmoides, Northern Pike Esox lucius, Smallmouth Bass Micropterus dolomieui, Walleye Sander vitreus, White Sucker Catostomus commersonii, and Yellow Perch Perca flavescens) sampled from 1983 to 2012 in 305 to 1,457 lakes. We found significant increasing trends in gill net catch of Black Crappie, Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, and Smallmouth Bass and significant decreasing trends in Yellow Perch and White Sucker. Walleye trends were not significantly different from zero. There were some regional differences in trends for several species, and levels of annual variation about long-term trends differed among the species.
Title: Electrofishing with Spheres, Rings and Rods: Electrical Fields of Three Common Electrodes
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
8:20 am - 8:40 am
Authors: Jim Reynolds, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Spring Creek, Nevada
Abstract: Electrofishing has evolved to the point where spheres, rings and rods are the shapes most commonly used for electrodes. The effects of size and shape of these electrodes on electrical fields have not been adequately studies under controlled conditions. In a concrete hatchery raceway, I compared electrical fields in terms of voltage gradient (V/cm) for 15-cm and 30-cm diameter rings and spheres and 48-cm and 96-cm long rods. Rings and rods consisted of four stock diameters: 3, 6, 10 and 13 mm. Identical pairs (e.g., two 15-cm spheres) were suspended 300 cm (rings and rods) or 500 cm (spheres) apart and energized with 120-V AC. In-water voltage was measured between each of the 18 electrode pairs and converted to voltage gradients after adjustment to 100 applied V as a standard. Voltage gradients were compared at 1 cm (hazardous to fish) from electrodes and at distances to 1.0 and 0.1 V/cm (inner and outer edges of the effective electrical field). Gradients at 1 cm were lowest for the 30-cm sphere (4-5 V/cm) and increased with decreasing stock diameter; 3-mm stock produced the highest gradient (18-21 V/cm). Distances to 0.1 V/cm were longest for the 30-cm sphere and 96-cm rods (up to 83 cm), followed by 30-cm rings (55-64 cm) 48-cm rods (46-61cm) and 15-cm rings (40-47 cm). All electrodes produced 1.0 V/cm at about 10 cm. Small stock diameters (3 and 6 mm) produced very high voltage gradients near the electrode, a greater hazard for fishes. Contrary to conventional wisdom, field size was more affected by electrode size and shape than stock diameter. Rings, compared to rods of equal stock diameter, produced smaller fields. Electrofishing-based projects aimed at small and juvenile fishes in shallow water will be more effective with smaller rings and rods made of smaller stock. Those aimed at larger fishes in deeper water should use larger rings or rods with larger stock diameter, or spheres.
Title: Relative Position of Brown Trout in Winter Food Webs of Groundwater-dominated Streams Using Stable Isotope Analysis
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
8:40 am - 9:00 am
Authors: William E French, University of Minnesota Conservation Biology Program; Bruce Vondracek, U.S. Geological Survey, Minnesota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Minnesota; Leonard C. Ferrington Jr., Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota; Jacques Finlay, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota; Douglas J. Dieterman, Fisheries Research, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Abstract: Summer interactions of stream-dwelling brown trout Salmo trutta within food webs have been frequently studied; however, relatively little is known during winter within food webs. Groundwater may increase the availability of potential prey and create more favorable foraging conditions for trout by maintaining relatively warm winter temperatures. We used stable isotope analysis to examine the relative position of brown trout in the aquatic food webs of 13 streams across the Driftless Ecoregion of southeastern Minnesota. Two tissue types with differing turnover rates (fin and mucus) were used to examine temporal and spatial variation in relative food web position of brown trout. Although relative food web position varied both temporally and by individual, brown trout stable isotope signatures indicated aquatic invertebrates were likely the predominant prey source. Additionally, brown trout may have used a combination of allochthonous and autochthonous derived resources within the winter aquatic food web.
Title: Spatial Distribution of Invasive White Perch Estimated Using N-mixture Models
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
9:00 am - 9:20 am
Authors: Nathaniel T. Stewart, Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska; Lucas K. Kowalewski, Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska; Christopher J. Chizinski, Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska; Kevin L. Pope, U.S. Geological Survey-Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska
Abstract: The knowledge of the spatial distributions of invasive species is required for effective management of these species. White perch (Morone americana), a fish species native to the Atlantic Seaboard, is invasive in Midwestern waterbodies and often develops into hyper-abundant, stunted populations, that are linked to declines in sportfish populations. Our objective was to describe the spatial distribution of white perch during summer in Pawnee Reservoir, Nebraska (a 299 ha flood-control reservoir) to guide white perch management. White perch were sampled during summer of 2013 using a combination of gears. Spatial distribution and density estimates were generated using count data input into N-mixture models. White perch densities during the summer of 2013 were greatest (1.50-2.00 fish/m3) along the southwestern shoreline of the reservoir, a shoreline armored with large-concrete riprap and with a strong depth gradient. Moderate densities (0.50-1.00 fish/m3) were observed in water depths between 2 and 4 m, whereas low densities (0.01-0.25 fish/m3) were observed in water depths of 0-2 m and 4-6 m. Pawnee Reservoir stratifies for only short periods during the summer thus, white perch were observed throughout the water column. White perch appear to be relatively dispersed throughout the summer and management efforts to target concentrations of white perch should be avoided during this time of year.
Title: A New, Consistent, Bi-National Dataset for the Great Lakes: The Development and Analysis of Aggregated Reach Catchments Across the Basin
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
9:20 am - 9:40 am
Authors: Danielle K. Forsyth, Institute for Fisheries Research, University of Michigan, and Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Catherine M. Riseng, University of Michigan and Michigan Sea Grant; Lacey A. Mason, Institute for Fisheries Research, University of Michigan, and Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Kevin E. Wehrly, Institute for Fisheries Research, University of Michigan, and Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Lizhu Wang, International Joint Commission; Edward S. Rutherford, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Mike Robertson, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Land Information Ontario
Abstract: Consistent, basin-wide, binational aggregated reach catchments for the Great Lakes region are needed to assess resource condition and identify management and restoration priorities. We, supported by a binational advisory group, created consistent aggregated reach catchments for the entire basin and summarized key landscape variables for all Great Lakes tributaries. We used base data from the National Hydrography Dataset Plus (NHD+), the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD), the National Elevation Dataset (NED), and the Ontario Integrated Hydrology Data (OIHD), and created a flow accumulation threshold to delineate aggregated reach catchments and interfluves (the area in between aggregated reach catchments and the shoreline) with the ArcGIS ArcHydro tools. Aggregated reach catchments were delineated for both the mainland areas and for islands with drainage in the OIHD and the NHD, resulting in 1239 aggregated reach catchments and 1215 interfluves for the US mainland, 1024 aggregated reach catchments and 1056 interfluves for the Canadian mainland. For the US islands, 79 aggregated reach catchments were created and 117 interfluves were delineated, and 225 aggregated reach catchments and 504 interfluves were created for the Canadian islands. Delineated aggregated reach catchments were roughly equivalent to the US HUC 8 and Canadian tertiary aggregated reach catchment sizes, with some smaller subdivisions near the coast. Tributary catchments differed widely in stream density, landcover percentage, and other landscape measurements across the basin. Our aggregated reach catchment layer provides a framework for classification, modeling, and assessment work for the entire Great Lakes Basin.
FISHERIES ECOLOGY
Monday, January 27
10:40 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Title: Projected Impacts of Climate Change on Native Fish Species Ranges
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
10:40 am - 11:00 am
Authors: Kristen Bouska, Southern Illinois University; Greg Whitledge, Southern Illinois University; Christopher Lant, Southern Illinois University
Abstract: Climate change is expected to have significant impacts on freshwater ecosystems. To assess the effects of environmental change on fish species native to the central U.S., we developed suites of species distribution models for six fish species. Using a model-ensemble approach, we were able to combine different model classes and general circulation models to provide robust projections of species range change under different climate scenarios. Assessment of range change across scenarios can aid in identifying potentially vulnerable and stable locations within the study area. Plains topminnow (Fundulus sciadicus) is projected to have a range loss of approximately 92% by 2100 under the most extreme scenario of unregulated, continued increase of carbon emissions. All climate scenarios show a loss of almost the entire range of the Ozarks population in addition to the loss of significant portions of the Great Plains range. Across all scenarios, central Nebraska appears to be the most secure portion of the range. Under most climate scenarios, the smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) model projects a loss of range in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota, and gains in Arkansas and Louisiana. The Ozark range appears to be the most secure across climate scenarios. Understanding the sensitivity of different species and habitats to climate scenarios can aid in prioritizing management activities and developing mitigation strategies.
Title: Effects of Catastrophic Flooding on a Reservoir Delta Fish Community
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
11:00 am - 11:20 am
Authors: Andrew K. Carlson, South Dakota State University; Brian D.S. Graeb, South Dakota State University; Mark J. Fincel, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks; Christopher M. Longhenry, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks
Abstract: As reservoirs age, prolonged sedimentation creates freshwater deltas. These ecosystems reduce reservoir storage capacity but may simulate historic riverine environments with high aquatic species richness and diversity. High-discharge sediment flushing is a potential management option in deltas, but effects on fish communities and aquatic habitats are unknown. Catastrophic flooding in the Missouri River in 2011 provided a rare opportunity to measure immediate ecological effects of high discharge in a freshwater delta. We evaluated structural trends in the Lewis and Clark Delta fish community from 2005 to 2012 and identified effects of flooding in 2011 using standardized sampling (i.e., electrofishing, mini-fyke nets, beach seines). Community evenness (J?) consistently decreased from 0.882 (2005) to 0.725 (2009) but rose to 0.835 (2012) after the flood. Species richness declined from 25 to 15 in the years before the flood (2005-2008) but stabilized above 20 (22 in 2009, 21 in 2012) after the disturbance. Diversity (Fisher?s ?) followed a similar pattern, decreasing from 4.56 to 2.17 (2005-2008) and stabilizing thereafter (3.48 in 2009, 3.27 in 2012), indicating absence of an immediate flood response. Short-term resilience to the disturbance may indicate a time lag in structural response or long-term resilience of the Delta fish community. As sedimentation continues in the Delta, this study provides critical ecological information to inform future management actions.
Title: Mussel Abundance and Predation Frequency by Freshwater Drum in Lakes of the Cannon River, Minnesota
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
11:20 am - 11:40 am
Authors: Andrew Edgcumbe, Graduate Assistant, Water Resources Center and Department of Biological Sciences, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Dr. Shannon Fisher, Dicrector, Water Resources Center, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Abstract: Freshwater mussels (Unionidae) are one of the most endangered faunal clades in the world. Mussels play an important role in the aquatic ecosystem serving as a food item, filtering water, and stabilizing sediments. In addition, many mussel species are important biotic indicators of water quality. Most mussel species require a fish host to fulfill larval transformation into a juvenile mussel; however, some fish species in freshwater lakes and rivers consume mussels. Given the challenges already facing mussel populations in agricultural drainages, our primary goal was to determine mussel presence, richness, and density within the Cannon River watershed. In addition, we evaluated the food habits of the abundant freshwater drum (Aplodintus grunniens), a known molluscivore in this watershed, to assess the frequency of mussel consumption. A 1-m2 quadrat was used to evaluate mussel populations in five lakes, with 40 quadrats searched per lake. Live mussels occurred in all the lakes of interest. The primary mussel species sampled included live specimens of Giant Floater (Pyganadon grandis; Shields and Gorman Lake), Fat Mucket (Lampsilis siliquoidea; Tetonka), and (Toxolasma parvis; Shields Lake). Trap nets were utilized to sample the fish community in July 2013, and a subsample of drum were euthanized for gut content analyses. To date, a portion of the drum stomach contents have been assessed (N=130) and no mussels have been documented.
Title: Influences of Dissolved Oxygen on Juvenile Largemouth Bass Foraging Behavior
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
11:40 am - 12:00 pm
Authors: Chris French, Illinois Natural History Survey and Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL; David H. Wahl, Kaskaskia Biological Station, Illinois Natural History Survey, Sullivan, IL
Abstract: Summer stratification often leads to large areas of hypolimnetic hypoxia in lakes and reservoirs. These areas of hypoxia alter fish behaviors and distributions as well as restrict access to valuable prey resources, yet few studies have examined foraging behavior of fish in response to low dissolved oxygen concentrations. We observed foraging behavior of juvenile largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), a popular Midwest sportfish, in response to a gradient of dissolved oxygen concentrations in tanks that simulated a lake water column. We found that compared with saturated levels, hypolimnetic oxygen concentrations of <3.0 mg/L resulted in a drastic decrease in prey consumption and handling efficiency mainly due to avoidance behavior of hypoxic conditions. Our trials also revealed several unique behaviors including transporting prey above the oxycline for consumption, surface respiration and gill flaring employed by largemouth bass foraging in low oxygen environments. These behaviors influence and alter feeding strategies, potentially disrupting the timing of ontogenetic dietary shifts which can lead to decreased growth in YOY fish. Our results suggest the need for increased efforts to maintain water quality (dissolved oxygen) in lakes and reservoirs that experience large areas of hypoxia.
ATTENDEE LUNCH ~ 12:00 p.m. - 1:20 p.m.
Title: Evaluation of Movement through Culverts by Plains Topminnow, a Species of Concern
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
1:20 pm - 1:40 pm
Authors: Jeremy Grauf, University of Nebraska in Kearney; Erik Prenosil, University of Nebraska in Kearney; Marc Albrecht, University of Nebraska in Kearney; Casey Schoenebeck, University of Nebraska in Kearney; Keith Koupal, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission; Wyatt Hoback, University of Nebraska in Kearney
Abstract: Culverts are a possible barrier to the distribution of plains topminnow (Fundulus sciadicus) a species of concern throughout its native range. However, movement through culverts is difficult to evaluate using native populations because of low abundances. This study assessed movement of the plains topminnow through culverts by introducing cultured plains topminnow. This study monitored three sites located in the South Loup River, Nebraska that were chosen based on three different stream road crossing types, pipe culvert, double barrel pipe culvert, and bridge. Block trap nets were set 50 meters upstream and downstream of each study site. Twelve hundred plains topminnow were batch marked using Visual Implant Elastomere (VIE) tags unique to upstream or downstream, and four hundred were introduced to each site. Trap nets were checked every day for three days after introduction, and then the entire site was backpack electrofished. Proportional Movement (PM) was calculated to quantify the differences in movement between different stream road crossing types. Plains topminnow were observed to move in both directions at all road crossing structures. However, PM was 15 times higher through the double-barrel pipe culvert than through the pipe culvert, and two times higher through the bridge than through the pipe culvert. The use of cultured fish can be used to assess movement through possible barriers, and the results of this study demonstrate that plains topminnow, a species of concern that is a backwater specialist, is capable of moving through culverts under the habitat conditions of the sites studied.
Title: Fatty Acid Profiles Can Provide Time Integrated Diet Estimations for Aquatic Predators
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
1:40 pm - 2:00 pm
Authors: Austin Happel, Illinois Natural History Survey; Lier Yeo, The College at Brockport-SUNY; Logan Stratton, The College at Brockport-SUNY; Robert Pattridge, The College at Brockport-SUNY; Sergiusz Czesny, Illinois Natural History Survey; Jacques Rinchard, The College at Brockport-SUNY
Abstract: Accurate diet estimation of economically important fishes provides information on: potential contaminant sources, prey base changes, and recent habitat preferences. Stomach content data carry well know impediments, thus work towards circumventing these shortcomings using biochemical methods has become popular. Mixing models have provided quantitative data for several taxa using stable isotopes however similar approaches have not been established with fatty acid profiles. To this end we illustrate steps taken to develop and investigate the efficacy of a diet estimation model with a freshwater predator. Feeding experiments, using natural prey items, provide a framework for model creation and testing. Our work herein was conducted using lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush), a native Great Lakes predator fraught with reproductive failures. Obtaining a means to collect long term dietary preferences can provide clues into maternal dietary effects on progeny.
Title: Long term trends in age-0 channel catfish growth in the channelized Missouri River, Nebraska
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
2:00 pm - 2:20 pm
Authors: Nick Hogberg, University of Nebraska - Lincoln; Dr. Mark Pegg, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Abstract: Habitat alteration has contributed to declines in several native Missouri River fishes throughout the basin. Modifications to the Missouri River, Nebraska during the 20th century resulted in drastic reduction in shallow water habitat and a homogenized flow regime. Large river paradigms suggest that connectivity with floodplain and other off-channel habitats fosters production and growth of aquatic organisms, however, the currently channelized, leveed, and flow-regulated river is rarely allowed to connect with its floodplain. Precipitation conditions during winter 2010-2011 and spring 2011 resulted in prolonged floodplain inundation along the middle Missouri River, and thereby increased available shallow water habitat. We used length-frequency analysis to assess age-0 channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus growth in the Missouri River, Nebraska. Between 1974 and 2013, a total of 12,349 age-0 channel catfish was collected from two hydrologically distinct reaches of the channelized Missouri River as part of standardized sampling efforts. Hydrological data from stream gages were used to assess relations between age-0 channel catfish growth and hydrological conditions in the Missouri River. Age-0 channel catfish growth was more rapid in years after 2003 than years before. These results should help guide habitat mitigation efforts by emphasizing the services provided to aquatic organisms by regular access to shallow water habitat during floodplain connectivity.
Title: A Status Update of Selected Missouri River Fishes in Nebraska
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
2:20 pm - 2:40 pm
Authors: Thad W. Huenemann, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission; Kirk D. Steffensen, Nebraska and Game and Parks Commission; Gerald E. Mestl, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Abstract: The status of selected native fishes of the Missouri River has recently been assessed, resulting in similar declining trends compared to previous status reports. A closer look over recent years shows a decrease in abundance of several small-bodied fishes in the Missouri River that borders Nebraska. For the sturgeon chub Macrhybopsis gelida a state listed endangered species, catch rates have decreased to zero in the portion of the river from Gavins Point Dam downstream to the confluence of the Platte River. Potential reasons for the decline of native species are most likely the result from river alterations and the limitation of critical habitats, such as sandbars and off-channel areas. Although, other native species have remained stable in abundance, such as the sand shiner Notropis stramineus, catch rates in 2012 are similar to other means from previous years resulting in a positive response following the high water event in 2011. This paper will include the results of sampling effort carried out by the Pallid Sturgeon Population Assessment Program during the period of 2003-2012 to show trends for native fishes among four classified sampling areas of the Missouri River. Further discussion of distribution, abundance, and status trends of native small-bodied fishes will also be presented.
Title: Paddlefish Population Characteristics of Major Midwestern Rivers
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
2:40 pm - 3:00 pm
Authors: Ryan N. Hupfeld, Southeast Missouri State University/Missouri Department of Conservation; Sara J. Tripp, Missouri Department of Conservation; David P. Herzog, Missouri Department of Conservation; Quinton E. Phelps, Southeast Missouri State University/Missouri Department of Conservation
Abstract: Paddlefish are a prehistoric migratory megafish, native to large rivers and their tributaries within the Mississippi River Basin. However, many of these populations have experienced declines. Habitat modifications coupled with overexploitation have likely had the largest impact on these populations. In terms of habitat modifications: channelization, river training structures, levees (disconnection of the main river to its floodplain), and dams have altered traditional habitats leading to reduced populations. Dams block spawning migrations and subsequently create areas of massive congregation, which increases their vulnerability to harvest. Furthermore, paddlefish are susceptible to harvest by commercial and recreational fishing. Commercial fishing predominantly targets the roe bearing females to produce caviar, while recreational fisheries are predominately flesh fisheries (i.e., generally smaller immature paddlefish). Given the growing demand for caviar and the increasing popularity of recreational fishing, harvest regulations need to be complementary among adjacent state agencies that share this resource. Despite the apparent relevance, evaluation of these populations has not been fully evaluated. As such, understanding paddlefish population dynamics are crucial for managing its populations. Thus, the objective of this study was to assess baseline demographic information for paddlefish in the Mississippi River Basin, as well as to evaluate the current reproductive potential of the population, given the total annual mortality rates. This will provide a suite of information needed to properly manage paddlefish populations throughout the Mississippi River Basin.
FISHERIES ECOLOGY
Tuesday, January 28
10:40 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Title: Effects of Watershed-scale Land Use on the Physiological Condition of Largemouth Bass
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 28
10:40 am - 11:00 am
Authors: Gregory D. King, University Of Illinois; Jacqueline Chapman, Carleton University; Steven J. Cooke, Carleton University; Cory D. Suski, University of Illinois
Abstract: Anthropogenic alterations to terrestrial habitat (e.g., urbanization, destruction of forested areas) can have a variety of negative effects on stream quality. Currently, the relationship between land use practices within a watershed and fish condition remains poorly understood. To mitigate the negative effects of land use changes on aquatic communities, it is critical to understand how land use practices affect the health of resident fishes. The use of physiological metrics provide a novel, powerful tool for quantifying these effects by relating the health of resident fish to watershed-scale land use. In the current study we used blood-based physiological metrics to quantify health of largemouth bass residing in watersheds containing a range of land use practices. Largemouth bass (n = 9 - 12) were sampled from 8 replicate watersheds in the vicinity of Cornwall, ON, CA in July, 2012. Blood was sampled immediately following capture, to quantify nutritional and baseline stress parameters, and following a standardized stressor, to quantify glucocorticoid responsiveness. Results showed that the proportion of natural lands in a watershed (i.e., forest and wetlands) were better predictors of largemouth bass health than the proportion of anthropogenic land uses. Specifically, natural land area resulted in the best fit model for feeding, oxidative stress and stress responsiveness, which together demonstrate an improved fish condition. These results show the importance of understanding watershed-scale processes for the management of stream communities, and the role of natural lands for improving the physiological condition of fish.
Title: Streamflow effects on smallmouth bass growth rates in Minnesota streams of the Eastern Broadleaf Eco-Region
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 28
11:00 am - 11:20 am
Authors: Eric Krumm, Minnesota State University-Mankato, Water Resources Center; Shannon Fisher, Minnesota State University-Mankato, Water Resources Center; Douglas Dieterman, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Research Division; John Hoxmeier, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Research Division
Abstract: Hydrologic patterns regulate habitat and disturbance regimes in fluvial ecosystems, and also influence life history traits and population parameters of riverine fishes. The study objective was to examine the influence of streamflow on smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu growth rates at five stream sites in the Eastern Broadleaf Eco-Region of Minnesota. Bass were collected by electrofishing and total lengths were recorded and otoliths collected to allow estimates of growth using the Weisberg Mixed Effects Growth Model. The model allows identification of year effects on growth that could be associated with interannual changes in streamflow. Thirty-three hydrologic variables were quantified with the Indicators of Hydrological Alteration (IHA) software. Age effects accounted for 80-90 percent of the variation in smallmouth bass growth rates among all five sites. Year effects on growth were not observed for two sites suggesting interannual changes in hydrology had little effect on bass growth there. A statistically significant (p = <0.05) difference was observed among the growth rates of age 0, 1, 2, and 3 fish across all sites. IHA variables dealing with the magnitude and duration of extreme low and high flows showed the strongest relationships to the mean growth rates of smallmouth bass within sites. Occurrences of prolonged, extreme, high streamflow can increase energy expenditure in smallmouth bass, which may lead to reduced growth rates, while prolonged, extreme, low streamflow can decrease foraging habitat, and reduce growth rates.
Title: Factors Influencing Growth of Age-0 Gizzard Shad in Three Northern Missouri Reservoirs
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 28
11:20 am - 11:40 am
Authors: Paul Michaletz, Missouri Department of Conservation
Abstract: Age-0 gizzard shad Dorosoma cepedianum are the main prey fish for white crappies Pomoxis annularis in many US reservoirs. However, these prey fish commonly outgrow their vulnerability to white crappie predation in some, but not all, northern Missouri reservoirs. Potential variables that could influence growth of age-0 gizzard shad were examined in three reservoirs that differed with respect to age-0 gizzard shad growth rates. Larval and juvenile gizzard shad grew slowest in Thomas Hill Lake, followed by Mark Twain Lake, and Long Branch Lake. Growth rate of larvae increased with increasing water temperature and food abundance but decreased with increasing conspecific density. Similar relationships were found for juvenile growth, except that growth declined with increasing temperature. The slower growth of larvae and juveniles in Thomas Hill was probably a consequence of their greater densities relative to their food abundance and higher water temperatures during the juvenile stage. Conversely, both larvae and juvenile gizzard shad grew more rapidly and juveniles attained large sizes in Long Branch Lake owing to their lower densities relative to their available food. Because of their greater abundance and slower growth, gizzard shad were available as prey for white crappies for a longer period in Thomas Hill Lake than in the other reservoirs.
Title: Channel-Backwater Connectivity Relationships to Fish Communities in the Minnesota River
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 28
11:40 am - 12:00 pm
Authors: Adam D. Nickel, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Shannon J. Fisher, Minnesota State University, Mankato; and Douglas J. Dieterman, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Abstract: Backwater habitats are valuable nursery areas and can provide year-round fish refuge; however, connectivity can impact backwater fish production. Backwater habitats have been altered or lost on many river systems. Therefore, our objective was to assess fish communities in three Minnesota River backwater lakes with differing connection types. Sampling was conducted before (P1), during (P2), and after (P3 and P4) a 2012 connection event. Anderson Backwater Lake (ABL) experienced a flow-through connection, St. Peter Backwater Lake (SPBL) had a back-flow connection, and Harris Backwater Lake (HBL) connected by small canals. To assess young-of-year (YOY) fish communities, light traps and sled nets were deployed in each backwater and adjacent main channel areas during each period. Backwaters were also sampled with trap nets each period. There were 2,872 YOY fishes captured (88.9% from backwater lakes) and trap net catch totaled 7,387 fishes. Light trap YOY fish catch significantly differed among backwater lakes in P3 (P < 0.001), ranging from 64.5/LT (SE = 15.0) in HBL to 0.2/LT (SE=0.1) in SPBL. Similarly, P3 sled net densities in HBL [34.27/m3 (SE = 21.29)] and ABL [20.08/m3 (SE = 3.02)] were significantly greater than SPBL [0.20/m3 (SE = 0.14; P < 0.001)]. The HBL and ABL demonstrated more capacity as nursery habitats for YOY fishes; whereas, the lack of YOY fish in SPBL may indicate lower nursery suitability, lack of access, or other factors resulting in lower fish production. These results may advance understanding about river-backwater connection types and lead to improved backwater habitat restorations.
ATTENDEE LUNCH ~ 12:00 p.m. - 1:20 p.m.
Title: Examination of Differential Freshwater Drum Growth Rates Using Hydrologic Parameters
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 28
1:20 pm - 1:40 pm
Authors: Brett D. Nelson, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Douglas J. Dieterman, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Shannon J. Fisher, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Abstract: Freshwater drum is one of the most abundant fishes in the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio Rivers, and has an extensive distribution throughout North America. Moreover, freshwater drum are considered a recreationally and commercially important species. Understanding how abiotic factors can impact biological characteristics of a fish with broad distribution and economic value is in itself of extreme importance. Therefore, the research objective was to assess age-0 freshwater drum Aplodinotus grunniens growth rates in an upper Midwest riverine ecosystem in relation to hydrologic parameters. Freshwater drum (N=111) were sampled from April-September of 2012 via boat electrofishing, benthic beam trawl, and trap nets. Age and growth were evaluated using a mixed-effects model, where age was treated as a fixed-effect and growth year was treated as a random effect. Age and year effects were then combined and assessed in relation to riverine hydrologic variation. Multiple hydrologic parameters for flow regime were quantified using outputs from the modeling program Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration. Preliminary results indicated age-0 freshwater drum growth was positively influenced by extended periods of high flows (P = 0.004; r2 = 0.704) and negatively by frequency of annual high pulses (P = 0.011; r2=0.622). Results implicate abiotic factors that influence early growth characteristics of freshwater drum. Growth rate influences should be compared to other geographical regions, and then collectively utilized to assess hydrologic management options.
Title: Assessment of Traditionally Understood Relationships among Indices of Biotic Integrity, Habitat, and Water Quality in a Highly Impaired Watershed
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 28
1:40 pm - 2:00 pm
Authors: Brady Swanson, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Douglas J. Dieterman, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Shannon J. Fisher, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Abstract: Physical and chemical characteristics of fluvial ecosystems hold the capacity to shape and alter their biotic communities. Understood relationships amongst these characteristics and attributes of biotic assemblages are often utilized within Indices of Biotic Integrity (IBI) and Invertebrate Community Indices (ICI) as a means to assess lotic ecosystem health. Our primary objective was to identify whether traditionally understood relationships amongst physical habitat characteristics, water quality parameters, and biotic assemblages consistently displayed statistically significant relationships within a highly impaired watershed. Data were collected from 21 extensively impaired streams of the Greater Blue Earth River Basin in Minnesota from 2007 to 2011. Individuals of assemblages sampled were categorized into metrics of biotic integrity that are currently utilized in Minnesota, as well as metrics of the IBI and ICI utilized during the Minnesota River Assessment Project. Regression analyses were used to identify statistically significant relationships among index matrices and water and habitat quality characteristics, and then subsequently assessed for temporal consistency. Results revealed wide variability in the consistency of various matrices with water and habitat quality; although, some relationships emerged as significant (P<0.05) more consistently than others. It was thus concluded that extensively degraded habitat and water quality characteristics hamper the capacity of traditionally understood relationships to persist temporally within the Greater Blue Earth River Basin.
Title: Recruitment Dynamics of Catfishes in the Ohio River
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 28
2:00 pm - 2:20 pm
Authors: Devon Oliver, Gregory Whitledge, Troy Laughlin, Neil Rude; Southern Illinois University- Center for Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences
Abstract: Protection of natal habitats and management of exploitation are essential to conservation of recreational and commercially exploited species like catfish. However, despite the potential for overfishing of catfish stocks in the Ohio River, the contributions of different tributaries and the impacts of exploitation to Ohio River catfish populations are not well described. The objective of this study was to identify recruitment sources and estimate impacts of exploitation on yield per recruit of Ohio River catfish populations. Sampling for catfishes was conducted during June-November 2012 and April-October 2013 using electrofishing, trot lines, and hoop nets. Stable isotope and microchemical analyses of catfish otoliths were used to identify natal environment of catfishes in the Illinois portion of the Ohio River. Furthermore, we assessed the potential impacts of harvest for two different minimum harvest sizes, 299.72 mm and 400.05 mm total length. Results of yield per recruit modeling for the Ohio River blue catfish and channel catfish fisheries suggest that growth or recruitment overfishing are not likely occurring, assuming fish are not harvested until they reach 400.05 mm TL, and exploitation rate is typical of that in other populations where exploitation rates have been estimated for these species (generally <30-33%). However, we need to know more about exploitation rates (recreational and commercial) for these populations (and for riverine catfishes in general) to assess whether overfishing is occurring.
Title: Population Dynamics of Catfishes in the Ohio River
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 28
2:20 pm - 2:40 pm
Authors: Devon Oliver, Gregory Whitledge, Neil Rude,Troy Laughlin, Southern Illinois University- Center for Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences
Abstract: Catfish are of high importance to recreational anglers in Illinois and are commercially fished. Commercial harvest of both blue and channel catfish in the U.S. increased during 2002-2010. However, despite the potential for overfishing of catfish stocks in large rivers and strong interest among recreational anglers (66% of those surveyed in a 2002 study) for more attention to management of catfishes in Mississippi River basin states, limited data on catfish population demographics are available for large rivers including the lower Ohio River between Illinois and Kentucky. We have begun to develop estimates of size structure, condition, age structure and growth rates of Ohio River catfish populations. We estimated total annual mortality to be 56% for blue catfish ages 2-7 collected by electrofishing and 26% for blue catfish ages 4-17 collected by trot lines. The relatively high mortality rate estimated for blues using electrofishing data may be due to the large number of age-2 blue catfish collected during spring 2013, which perhaps represents a particularly strong year-class. Furthermore, the differences in catchability with age for a particular gear type and the relatively low sample sizes of blue catfish greater than age-10 likely influenced total mortality rate estimates. Additional sampling will be conducted during 2013-2014 to refine sampling protocols and estimates of population characteristics.
Title: Using Fish Community and Environmental Variables to Define Confluences of Two Tributaries with the Lower Missouri River
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 28
2:40 pm - 3:00 pm
Authors: Emily K. Pherigo, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, University of Missouri; Craig P. Paukert, U.S. Geological Survey, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, University of Missouri
Abstract: River confluences are characterized by habitat, water chemistry, flow patterns, and the interaction of physical and biological components leading to unique community structures. We will use longitudinal patterns of fish abundance, species richness, big river fish presence, water temperature and discharge to define the confluence of two tributaries of the Lower Missouri River in Missouri. The Osage River is altered by a hydroelectric dam and engineering structures while the Gasconade River is free-flowing for 482 river kilometers (rkm), resulting in different discharges and water temperatures. Sampling with boat electrofishing, benthic trawls, and seines in the lower 30 rkm of the Osage River and the lower 19 rkm of the Gasconade River from June 2012 to August 2013 resulted in the capture of 84 species, 40% were captured in the lower 3.2 rkm of both rivers and 6% were unique to these confluence areas. The percentage of species unique to the lower 3.2 rkm of the tributaries was greatest in winter at 18% and lowest in summer at 4%. This pattern was reversed in the 8 -19 rkm stretches of the tributaries where unique species comprised 46% of the total catch during summer and 34% of the total catch in winter. Linking these patterns of dissimilarity in the fish community to water temperature and discharge will help understand seasonal tributary connections with the larger Missouri River and will contribute to the planning of future restoration efforts.
BREAK ~ 3:00 p.m. - 3:40 p.m.
Title: Landscape-scale Assessment of Tributary Effects on Small-bodied Fish Assemblage Structure of Large Rivers
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 28
3:40 pm - 4:00 pm
Authors: Landon Pierce, University of Missouri; Craig Paukert, USGS Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Joanna Whittier, University of Missouri
Abstract: Many large river fishes have declined in abundance or distribution due to habitat alteration and introduced species. Tributaries have gained attention for their potential importance to large river fish conservation, but generally are not included in landscape-level evaluations of fish-habitat associations. We used Canonical Correspondence Analysis to identify associations between fish assemblage structure and tributary, mainstem, and catchment environmental factors for 268 large river segments in the Colorado River Basin. Mainstem characteristics explained 7.3% of assemblage structure in the Colorado River, 18.0% in the Green River, and 14.0% in the San Juan River. Mainstem watershed area accounted for 100%, 50%, and 82% of this association for the Colorado, Green and San Juan Rivers, respectively. Catchment factors explained 5.4% of assemblage structure in the Colorado River and 2.6% in the San Juan River, but were not associated with assemblage structure in the Green River. Tributary characteristics were not significantly associated with assemblage structure in the Colorado or San Juan Rivers, but explained 1.5% of the variability in the Green River fish assemblage. Tributaries likely had negligible effects on fish assemblage structure in our study because 92% of tributaries were < 1% of mainstem watershed area. However, the association between assemblage structure and mainstem watershed area suggests that large tributaries affect fish assemblages indirectly by altering the longitudinal position of the river along this gradient. Our results suggest that the role of tributaries in structuring fish assemblages may depend on the spatial scale of interest and tributary size.
Title: Small Fish Overcoming Big Hurdles: A Test of Stream Fish Ability to Cross Barriers
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 28
4:00 pm - 4:20 pm
Authors: Erik Prenosil, University of Nebraska-Kearney; Dr. W. Wyatt Hoback, University of Nebraska-Kearney; Dr. Casey Schoenebeck, University of Nebraska-Kearney; Dr. Keith Koupal, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission; Dave Schumacher, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality
Abstract: Many stream fish species move long distances for various reasons including to spawn and to avoid predators. Stream fragmentation can limit the ability of fish to move among habitats and thus, impacting life history and recruitment. We tested the jumping and swimming ability of nine species found in plains streams: plains topminnow (Fundulus sciadicus), western mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis), northern plains killifish (Fundulus kansae), sand shiner (Notropis stramineus), red shiner (Cyprinella lutrensis), channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), black bullhead (Ameiurus melas), bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) and green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus). An artificial waterfall with an adjustable weir was used to test the jumping performance of the fish and a ten liter swim tunnel was used to test swimming performance. Fish differed in jumping ability even among members of the same family. For example, bluegill never jumped while green sunfish cleared a maximum of 13 centimeters. The swimming results also varied with mosquitofish having the lowest maximum swimming rate at 37.5 cm/s and channel catfish with the highest mean swimming rate at 63.2 cm/s. These results suggest that stream obstacles can block the movement of some species of fish allowing or requiring management actions based on these impediments.
Title: Efficacy of Orangespotted Sunfish as Spawning Associates of the Topeka Shiner
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 28
4:20 pm - 4:40 pm
Authors: Alex Prentice, Missouri Department of Conservation
Abstract: Populations of the State and Federally endangered Topeka shiner (Notropis topeka) have declined throughout their range, only two populations (14% of historic populations) remain in Missouri. The Missouri Department of Conservation's recovery plan involves stocking selected streams and adjacent ponds (refuge ponds) with Topeka shiners and their spawning associate the orangespotted sunfish (Lepomis humilis). In a hatchery environment the presence of orangespotted sunfish and Topeka shiners in a pond increased production compared to ponds containing only Topeka shiners. Due to variance in fecundity of the two species, control of orangespotted sunfish overpopulation is necessary in a minimally controlled environment like refuge ponds. This study's purpose was twofold: 1) to determine if female orangespotted sunfish are necessary to induce male orangespotted sunfish spawning behaviors (i.e. nest building, territoriality), and 2) to determine if Topeka shiners will initiate spawning behaviors with only male orangespotted sunfish present. An 8-week laboratory study was implemented utilizing 55-gallon observation tanks and temperature and photoperiod alterations to induce spawning behaviors. This study showed male orangespotted sunfish initiated spawning behaviors without females present. Topeka shiners initiated spawning behavior with only male orangespotted sunfish present and occupied nests more frequently than the sunfish.
Title: Age and Growth of Morone spp. at Cheney and El Dorado Reservoirs, Kansas
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 28
4:40 pm - 5:00 pm
Authors: Brian Serpan, Fort Hays State University; William Stark, Fort Hays State University
Abstract: White perch, Morone americana, were inadvertently stocked in Cheney Reservoir in 1992 and discovered in El Dorado Reservoir in 2009. White perch management plans were established at Cheney and El Dorado in 2003 and 2010, respectively, which increased minimum length limits and decreased creel limits of large piscivores in an attempt to provide top-down biological control of white perch. Our objectives are to determine age and size structure of populations of white perch and potential predators as one means of evaluating the effectiveness of these modified harvest regulations. Sampling began in May 2013 and continued until mid-November 2013. Preliminary results for the Morone spp. will be presented.
FISHERIES ECOLOGY
Wednesday, January 29
8:00 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.
Title: Population Dynamics of Channel Catfish Populations in Manitoba, Canada
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
8:00 am - 8:20 am
Authors: Stephen Siddons, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Nick Hogberg, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Mark Pegg, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Derek Kroeker, Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship-Fisheries Branch; Geoff Klein, Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship-Fisheries Branch; Kevin Casper, Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship-Fisheries Branch
Abstract: Channel catfish Ictaluris punctatus are a popular sport and game fish to anglers in North America. The lower Red River, Manitoba is a well-known trophy catfish fishery with fish that are larger and longer-lived than populations in other parts of North America. Conversely, in the nearby Winnipeg River and Lake Winnipeg, the channel catfish population is comprised of smaller fish, but little is known of age structure or growth. We collected sagittal otoliths and pectoral spines from individuals from the lower Red River (2011-2013, n=183 otoliths, n=206 spines), Lake Winnipeg (2012, n=60 otoliths, n=88 spines), and the Winnipeg River (2013, n=15 otoliths) to evaluate the age structure and quantify growth of all three systems. These data will be used to compare and contrast age and growth dynamics across populations and to provide baseline data for population characteristics of channel catfish populations at the northern extent of their distributional range.
Title: A Comparison of Main and Side Channel Water Quality and Oxygen Metabolism in the Open Mississippi River
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
8:20 am - 8:40 am
Authors: Molly Sobotka, Missouri Dept. of Conservation
Abstract: In open waters such as lakes and large, deep rivers phytoplankton communities are an important base in the food chain. Side channels can be considered important areas of increased phytoplankton productivity and as refugia for many species however water quality conditions in the side channels of the Open River reach of the Mississippi River have not been analyzed in contrast to main channel conditions. Data collected by the Long Term Resource Monitoring Program was used to investigate differences between water quality metrics in the main and side channels. Statistical differences between main and side channel conditions were observed but the qualitative impacts of these differences may be minimal. Side channel metrics generally reflected main channel conditions during spring sampling periods, likely because of flooding. The percentage of organic material present in side channels doubled from spring to fall. Temperature accounted for 80% of variation in dissolved oxygen concentrations (DO) in the main channel but only 40% in side channels indicating differing controls on metabolic processes. Diel DO monitoring was used to assess DO metabolism in the main and side channels. Net ecosystem production was generally negative in both main and side channels suggesting heterotrophic populations in both habitats. Further research will attempt to elucidate the effects of river levels on productivity and the importance of side channel productivity to planktonic consumers.
Title: Using brook trout as a biological barrier for a parasitic copepod at Maramec Spring Hatchery, Missouri
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
8:40 am - 9:00 am
Authors: Wesley Swee, Missouri Department of Conservation; Jeff Koppelman, Missouri Department of Conservation; Matthew E. Gomper, University of Missouri; Ben Havens, Missouri Department of Conservation
Abstract: Maramec Spring Hatchery has been plagued with an infestation of the parasitic copepod Salmincola californiensis for many years, causing the hatchery's production to be quarantined for use only in the Meramec River basin. This parasite attaches to the mouth and gills of west slope and Pacific anadromous salmon and trout (Oncorhynchus spp.), including rainbow trout O. mykiss . Although usually not fatal in wild trout populations, S. californiensis can be very prolific and detrimental in a hatchery. Serially aligned raceways with a high density of rainbow trout at Maramec are the perfect environment for this copepod to proliferate and cause chronic mortalities as fish progress to larger sizes and infection rates reach 90%. Following a study done in California, Maramec began using brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis as a biological filter for the parasite. We placed 11,000 75mm brook trout between pools of infected and uninfected rainbow trout and monitored the copepod concentration biweekly for 5 months. Infection rates showed no significant difference between control and experimental groups. We repeated our study after the brook trout reached a larger size and higher density, causing an approximately 80% reduction in infection. The mechanism for intervention via the brook trout is unknown but the method can significantly reduce copepod parasite loads on rainbow trout if sufficient densities of brook trout are present. Because brook trout cannot be released into state waters, we are currently investigating brown trout Salmo trutta as a biological barrier that can be subsequently be stocked.
Title: The Chronicles of Mollusca: Short Stories about Mollusk Related Projects in Illinois
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
9:00 am - 9:20 am
Authors: Jeremy S. Tiemann, Illinois Natural History Survey; Kevin S. Cummings, Illinois Natural History Survey; Sarah A. Douglass, Illinois Natural History Survey; Diane K. Shasteen, Illinois Natural History Survey; and Alison P. Stodola, Illinois Natural History Survey
Abstract: Freshwater mollusks (mussels and snails) are important components of aquatic ecosystems, however, they are one of the most imperiled groups of organisms in the world. Habitat degradation, declining water quality, and competition with non-native species are factors attributed to declining mollusk populations. Loss of this taxonomic group affects ecosystem function, influences nutrient cycling, and may indicate declining water quality. This presentation will discuss a variety of on-going mollusk projects occurring in Illinois, including the following: 1) Investigating Mussel Communities in Illinois Wadable Streams Baseline mussel community data are being collected and analyzed in Illinois' interior streams. The project was created to incorporate mussels into the Illinois Biological Stream Characterization system. Data collected will help define expectations for mussel communities and reestablishing mussels of Greatest Need of Conservation in Illinois. 2) Steps Taken During the Reintroduction of Two Federally-Endangered Mussels Northern Riffleshell and Clubshell are federally-endangered mussels that were historically present throughout the upper Ohio River drainage but have experienced a 95% range reduction. A salvage project in Pennsylvania has provided an opportunity for the translocation of both species back into Illinois. 3) Effects of lowhead dams on mollusks: A plethora of data are available on the effects of dams on fishes, but little is known about their effects on mollusks. The effects of lowhead dams on mollusks were examined by sampling four site-types centered around dams. Results are similar to those reported for other taxa, as densities of mollusks were significantly lower in areas immediately upstream and downstream from impoundments compared to reference areas.
Title: Influence of Non-native Rainbow Trout on Native Longnose Dace
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
9:20 am - 9:40 am
Authors: Kelly C. Turek, School of Natural Resources University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Mark A. Pegg, School of Natural Resources University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Kevin L. Pope, U.S. Geological Survey-Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and School of Natural Resources University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Abstract: Introduced, non-native trout may have detrimental competitive or predatory interactions with native fishes. However, few studies have experimentally examined interactions between introduced trout and native species, and there are also no known empirical studies examining such interactions in Nebraska. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine if non-native rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss negatively influence native longnose dace Rhinichthys cataractae using a combination of laboratory and in-situ enclosure experiments. Rainbow trout preyed on longnose dace under both laboratory and in-situ conditions. The predation rates were low, yet introductions of rainbow trout are not recommended in streams with species of concern where legal or societal requirements restrict mortality related to anthropogenic activities (i.e., stocking fish).
Title: Darter Communities: Their Status in Turbidity Impaired Waters of the Greater Blue Earth River Basin
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
9:40 am - 10:00 am
Authors: Lina Wang, Department of Biology, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Dr. Shannon Fisher, Water Resources Center, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Abstract: The purpose of this project was to help shed light on whether darters can accurately be used as indicators of water quality. My null hypothesis is that richness of darter species will be inversely correlated with annual load estimates of turbidity. The experiment was performed by comparing water quality data taken from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) website to darter samples collect at various sites located on the LeSueur, Watonwan, Big Cobb Rivers, and Perch and Minneopa Creek in the surrounding areas of Mankato, MN, USA. The darters were caught by electroshocking and seining, identified, measured, and released. At each site, the site name, total number of specimens, species of specimens, total length, clarity, temperature, and pH value, epifaunal substrate, pool substrate and variability, sediment deposition, channel flow status, alteration, and sinuosity, bank stability, vegetative protection, and riparian vegetative zone width were recorded and surveyed. The data was run through a simple linear regression analysis computer program. The p-value and R-value were calculated from the regression graph for further analysis. It was found turbidity had a large effect on the presence of Johnny darters (p=0.0001), no effect on the presence of Blackside, Banded, or Slenderhead darters (p=0.3806, 0.0113, 0.0712 respectively). Fantail darters were only collected at one site and not analyzed. In conclusion, it is believed that darter species richness is not inversely correlated with annual load estimates of turbidity alone. The results showed that even as turbidity increases, many darter species were found to be present.
BREAK ~ 10:00 a.m. - 10:40 a.m.
Title: Examining Recruitment Patterns in Fishes of the Mississippi River
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
10:40 am - 11:00 am
Authors: John West, Molly Sobotka and Quinton Phelps, Missouri Department of Conservation Big Rivers and Wetlands Field Station
Abstract: Environmental factors are often influential in shaping biotic communities and can have a vital impact on fish reproduction and recruitment in large rivers. The Upper Mississippi River is a highly regulated river, with channelization, dams, and disconnected floodplains which all influence riverine fish population structure and dynamics. Our attempts to regulate the river for transportation, flood control, and water supply, have been shown to have deleterious effects on the ecosystem. Specifically, the alteration of the natural flow regime disrupts the natural cues for movement, spawning, and foraging, thus reshaping the riverine biotic communities. Because of this disruption, annual variability in reproduction and recruitment is common and can sometimes lead to recruitment failure in some years. Therefore it is important for river managers to understand the interaction of environmental variables (i.e., river stage/discharge and temperature) and annual variation in riverine fish recruitment. Historic LTRMP fish data will be analyzed along with current 2013 data, to determine age?0 abundance of the most commonly collected species. Existing literature will be used to develop age-0 size ranges for each specific species. USGS hydrological data (river stage and flow patterns) coupled with temperature data will be used to evaluate the relationship between these environmental variables and annual recruitment of riverine fish species.
Title: Comparative Analysis of Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) Diet and Condition Above and Below Lock and Dam 19 of the Upper Mississippi River
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
11:00 am - 11:20 am
Authors: Tristan Widloe, Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Michael McClelland, Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Timothy Spier, Western Illinois University
Abstract: Lock and Dam 19, near Keokuk, Iowa, has created two distinctly different aquatic ecosystems above and below the dam. Pool 19, especially the lower portion, is lake-like with shallow channel borders and near shore areas of silt-sand substrate which promote growth of expansive aquatic macrophyte beds. Pool 20 is more riverine with higher water velocities, less sedimentation and few to no aquatic macrophytes. This variation in habitat has led to different community compositions and densities of aquatic macroinvertebrates, most notably molluscs (fingernail clams, snails and Asian clams), between the two pools with greater diversity and density of these organisms being supported by the complex habitats in Pool 19. The objective of this study was to compare diet and condition of Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) in Pools 19 and 20 of the Upper Mississippi River in relation to the variation of habitat types and prey base. Insects and miscellaneous material dominated diets of Channel Catfish in Pool 20, whereas diets in Pool 19 were dominated by insects and, to a lesser extent, miscellaneous material and molluscs. It is likely that Channel Catfish in Pool 19 opportunistically fed on the dense population of molluscs within the pool, thereby expending less energy while feeding. Channel Catfish in both pools were in good condition and demonstrated no significant difference in relative weight. It is plausible that Channel Catfish from heavily exploited fisheries like the Upper Mississippi River will maintain healthy body condition by making optimal use of whatever food resources are available to them.
Title: Realized Genetic Consequences of Implementing Conservation Genetics Practices in a Muskellunge Propagation Program
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
11:20 am - 11:40 am
Authors: Zeb Woiak, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, Fisheries Propagation Science Center; Brian L. Sloss, U.S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, Fisheries Propagation Science Center; Justin A. VanDeHey, College of Natural Resources, Fisheries Propagation Science Center; Martin J. Jennings, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Abstract: In 2005, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' muskellunge Esox masquinongy propagation program underwent a series of revisions aimed at conserving genetic diversity. Changes were made primarily to ensure natural muskellunge diversity was represented in brood fish and crossing and rearing strategies were refined to minimize changes in genetic diversity throughout the propagation process. To evaluate these revisions, we determined if new crossing and rearing protocols resulted in improved genetic integrity between brood fish and offspring. Samples of 2012 and 2013 production from Governor Tommy Thompson (GTH) and Art Oehmcke (AOH) State fish hatcheries were genetically analyzed at 14 standardized microsatellite loci. Genetic integrity was inferred by testing for allele frequency differences between successive life stages. In 2012, allele frequencies at GTH were similar between brood stock and fry (G-test p = 0.99), and brood stock and fingerlings (G-test p > 0.05) (for all ponds pooled, and individual ponds). Conversely, allele frequencies at AOH differed (G-test p = 0.02) between broodstock and fingerlings. However, in 2012, 95% of all alleles observed in the broodstock, including 34 of 35 rare alleles, were detected in the pooled fingerlings at both hatcheries. If similar results are observed in 2013, improvements in the program's representation of native diversity throughout the rearing process will be evident. Nevertheless, some differences were still observed between subsequent life stages; results that require further efforts to address. Some of these efforts could include a stronger adherence to suggested spawning ratios and improvements in mixing progeny post-hatching.
Title: Ontogenetic Diet Shifts and Growth Potential of Age-0 Walleye within a Nebraska Irrigation Reservoir
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
11:40 am - 12:00 pm
Authors: Zachariah Woiak, University of Nebraska at Kearney; Casey W. Schoenebeck, University of Nebraska at Kearney; Keith D. Koupal, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission; Kim A. Carlson, University of Nebraska at Kearney
Abstract: Age-0 walleye Sander vitreus experience ontogenetic diet shifts during their first growing season to maximize energetic returns and increase growth potential. In Midwestern reservoirs, first year walleye experience large differences in growth both within cohorts and among years. Age-0 walleye that become piscivorous earlier in the growing season likely experience higher growth rates than those that do not, which implies an increased probability of over-winter survival and successful recruitment to the fishery. Specifically, we investigated the underlying energetic factors and benefits of these ontogenetic diet shifts using a combination of RNA:DNA ratios and stable isotope analyses within Harlan County Reservoir, NE. Interestingly, age-0 walleyes shifted directly from zooplankton to piscivory at an average length of 90 mm. Growth potential, measured by RNA:DNA ratios within the white muscle tissue of the age-0 walleye, continually increased throughout their first growing season and was positively correlated with walleye length (R2 = 0.94). In addition, after a diet shift from zooplankton to piscivory, growth potential significantly increased (t = -3.30, df = 40, P = 0.002). The results of this study document the ontogenetic diet shift and its timing for age-0 walleye and link this to their growth potential. Fisheries managers can use this information to address factors such as walleye size, date of stocking, and prey availability to allow for biotic conditions which provide favorable growth.
Title: Black Crappie Population Dynamics and Post-Connection Food Habits Among Three Differentially Connected Minnesota River Backwaters
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
12:00 pm - 12:20 pm
Authors: Michael C. Wolf, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Brett D. Nelson, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Adam D. Nickel, Minnesota State University, Mankato; and Shannon J. Fisher Minnesota State University, Mankato
Abstract: In the Minnesota River Basin, channel incision and floodplain development have impacted historical backwater connectivity. The lateral dynamics between the channel and floodplain are believed to be important to many fish species. Black crappie Pomoxis nigromaculatus population dynamics are strongly influenced by abiotic factors and the species can have a predominant role in localized ecology. Therefore, study objectives were to 1) assess black crappie population dynamics in three Minnesota River backwaters with differential connectivity and 2) evaluate the post-connection food habits of black crappie populations. The differentially connected backwaters included 1) Anderson Lake (flow-through), 2) Harris Lake (interspersed small canals), and 3) St. Peter Lake (downstream-end back-flow). Backwater black crappies were captured with trap nets during the post-connection base flow period in September 2012 (N=200 collectively). Black crappie dynamics, including recruitment, mortality, and incremental growth were evaluated against hydrologic variables produced by the Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration (IHA) program. Age-0 mean growth was significantly lower in Anderson backwater lake compared to St. Peter (P=0.041) and Harris (P=0.035). Differential growth among backwaters indicates a potential range in growing conditions, including potential food habits during the uncoupled periods. Our investigation into recruitment, growth, and mortality factors continues, and will be compared with dietary data. Our data indicate that differential connectivity influences on black crappie dynamics are likely present. Understanding differential backwater ecology is critical to the potential management and restoration of the Minnesota River corridor.
STURGEON
Monday, January 27
1:20 p.m. - 4:40 p.m.
Title: Age-0 Lake Sturgeon Prey Selectivity
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
1:20 pm - 1:40 pm
Authors: Kyle Bales, Missouri Department of Conservation & Southeast Missouri State University; Quinton Phelps, Missouri Department of Conservation & Southeast Missouri State University
Abstract: Range wide, lake sturgeon populations have declined due to overharvest and habitat degradation. Most efforts to reestablish lake sturgeon populations have been hindered by a host of factors, including incomplete information on the synergistic relationship between early life habitat or needs and foraging ecology. Examination of age-0 lake sturgeon foraging ecology could provide information relating to this knowledge gap and provide necessary information to facilitate rehabilitation for the Upper Mississippi River lake sturgeon population. To determine age-0 lake sturgeon prey selectivity, controlled laboratory experiments were conducted. Age-0 lake sturgeon using four size classes (0-50mm, 51-100mm, 101-150mm, and 151-250mm) were separated into individual microcosms. Water quality was maintained similarly among microcosms. Each age-0 lake sturgeon was offered ten-similarly sized (not to exceed gape) of each of three orders of invertebrates (Ephemeroptera, Trichoptera, and Diptera). Foraging activity was monitored for a 24-h period to determine invertebrate consumption. Across size classes, there appears to be a transition in consumption from Diptera dominating the diet at the smallest sizes while the diet breadth becomes more generalized at the largest sizes. Overall, this simple baseline study has provided insight into age-0 lake sturgeon prey selectivity to promote lake sturgeon rehabilitation.
Title: Bathythermal Habitat Use of Lake Sturgeon in the Open Waters of Lake Huron
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
1:40 pm - 2:00 pm
Authors: Andrew Briggs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Henry Quinlan, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; James Boase, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Lloyd Mohr, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources; Roger Bergstedt, U.S. Geological Survey; Ray Argyle, U.S. Geological Survey
Abstract: Little is known about the habitat use of Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) during non-spawning periods, especially in the deep, open waters of the Great Lakes where telemetry studies are not practical. In 2002 and 2003, 40 Lake Sturgeon captured in commercial trap nets near Sarnia, Ontario were implanted with archival tags (LTD-1110; Lotek Wireless, Newmarket, Ontario) and released back into southern Lake Huron. Of these 40 fish, five were recaptured (12.5%). The recaptured Lake Sturgeon were at large for 32, 57, 286, 301, and 880 days. The temperatures and depths recorded by the archival tags ranged from -0.11 to 23.49?C and -0.7 to 41.6 m, respectively. For the three Lake Sturgeon that were at large for an extended period of time, temperatures occupied fluctuated seasonally with fish occupying warmer temperatures in summer and cooler temperatures in winter. Two of these fish occupied deeper waters during winter (means = 30.3 ? 0.2 and 32.0 ? 0.3 m) than summer (means = 14.0 ? 0.5 and 9.9 ? 0.5 m; p < 0.001) while the other occupied similar depths throughout the life of the tag. The three Lake Sturgeon also more actively changed depths during late spring than other times of the year, potentially providing insight to when Lake Sturgeon porpoise. This study provides important insight into the bathythermal habitat use of Lake Sturgeon while in the open waters of the Great Lakes along with exploring the feasibility of using archival tags to obtain important physical habitat attributes during non-spawning periods.
Title: Range-Wide Age and Growth Characteristics of Shovelnose Sturgeon from Mark-Recapture Data: Implications for Conservation and Management
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
2:00 pm - 2:20 pm
Authors: Martin J. Hamel, University of Nebraska; Mark A. Pegg, University of Nebraska; Reuben R. Goforth, Purdue University; Quinton E. Phelps, Missouri Department of Conservation; Kirk D. Steffensen, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission; Jeremy J. Hammen, University of Nebraska; Mathew L. Rugg, University of Nebraska
Abstract: Shovelnose sturgeon Scaphirhynchus platorynchus are the most abundant and widespread of the North American sturgeons and inhabit the Mississippi and Missouri river basins; yet, commercial harvest and habitat degradation have reduced their distribution and abundance. We used mark-recapture data from shovelnose sturgeon to describe range-wide growth characteristics and to estimate ages. Data were solicited throughout much of the current distribution of shovelnose sturgeon, specifically from the main-stem Missouri and Mississippi rivers and their tributaries. Shovelnose sturgeon exhibited variable growth among populations. Adult fish from all populations exhibited minimal to nearly zero growth after they presumably reached sexual maturity. Shovelnose sturgeon from the Mississippi River basin attained greater maximum sizes and ages compared to the Missouri River basin; however, two populations from the Mississippi River that received high exploitation from commercial harvest resulted in truncated age distributions with smaller asymptotic lengths. Missouri River populations were characteristic of exploited populations (i.e., smaller fish and reduced longevity) presumably as a result of anthropogenic effects. Wide discrepancies in maximum age and size suggest shovelnose sturgeon are capable of displaying phenotypic plasticity in response to exploitation or environmental impacts. However, additional stressors (e.g., increased harvest, additional river modifications) may have significant effects on population sustainability because plastic responses to increase reproductive output (e.g., further reductions in age or size at maturity) are likely not physiologically achievable. Determining metapopulation dynamics is a priority for persistence of large-river fishes and may depend on population connectivity at multiple scales. Identifying these connections may provide the template for future restoration and recovery efforts.
Title: Population Characteristics of Shovelnose Sturgeon in the Lower Wabash River, Illinois
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
2:20 pm - 2:40 pm
Authors: Vaskar Nepal KC, Eastern Illinois University; Leslie Frankland, Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Robert Colombo, Eastern Illinois University
Abstract: Currently in the U.S., shovelnose sturgeon Scaphirhynchus platorynchus is the only commercially viable sturgeon species. In 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the shovelnose sturgeon as threatened in areas where it co-occurs with the endangered pallid sturgeon (Missouri and Mississippi Rivers); however, the population in Wabash River remains open to commercial exploitation. We assessed the population of shovelnose in the lower Wabash River for baseline demographic information to determine the impact of increased harvest. Shovelnose sturgeon were sampled between 2000 and 2013 using a multi-gear mark-recapture approach. So far, more than 10,000 shovelnose sturgeon have been tagged of which more than 350 (~3.5%) have been recaptured. The tag retention rate was high for PIT (87.9%) and floy tags (83.53%) but significantly lower (chi-square, p < 0.05) for monel tags (54.3%). Analysis of recaptured individuals (which were at large for 200 to 3290 days) showed minimal to no growth in many of the larger individuals (> 650 mm). Our results infer the presence of a large population of shovelnose sturgeon in Wabash, and the population seems to be relatively healthy and stable (PSS-Q = 99, PSS-P = 96, mean Wr = 90.255). However, continued monitoring is necessary to determine the impact of increased fishing pressure.
Title: Identifying River of Origin and Movements of Adult Scaphirhynchus Sturgeon Using Fin Ray Microchemistry
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
2:40 pm - 3:00 pm
Authors: Anthony P. Porreca, Center for Fisheries Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences, Southern Illinois University; William D. Hintz, Center for Fisheries Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences, Southern Illinois University; Neil P. Rude, Center for Fisheries Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences, Southern Illinois University; Quinton E. Phepls, Open Rivers and Wetlands Field Station, Missouri Department of Conservation; Gregory W. Whitledge, Center for Fisheries Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences, Southern Illinois University; James E. Garvey, Center for Fisheries Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences, Southern Illinois University
Abstract: The pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) is endemic to the Missouri and Mississippi River drainage, though populations of this species have declined significantly due to overexploitation and anthropogenic degradation of these rivers. The pallid sturgeon has experienced substantial declines because of similar appearance to its congener, the shovelnose sturgeon (S. platorynchus), which has been exploited in the Mississippi River basin due to demand for caviar. We sought to identify the origins and movements of pallid sturgeon throughout the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers in the central United States. The unique geology along the cline of large rivers produces varying concentrations and ratios of trace elements (e.g., strontium [Sr], calcium [Ca], or Sr:Ca). Adult pallid and shovelnose sturgeon fin rays were collected from the middle Mississippi River (between St. Louis, MO and the confluence of the Ohio River), then sectioned and prepared for microchemistry analysis at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Data were reported as Sr:Ca ratios (mmol/mol). Our data indicate both the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers contribute to sturgeon populations in the middle Mississippi River. Understanding the magnitude and timing of pallid sturgeon movements greatly enhances our ability to identify river reaches important to pallid sturgeon life history to focus conservation efforts.
BREAK ~ 3:00 p.m. - 3:40 p.m.
Title: The Status of Sturgeon in Nebraska
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
3:40 pm - 4:00 pm
Authors: Kirk D. Steffensen, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission; Thad W. Huenemann, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission; Gerald E. Mestl, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Abstract: As anthropogenic modifications degraded the habitat quality in the Missouri River as well as over exploitation by commercial fishermen, sturgeon populations have declined. Three sturgeon species inhabit the Missouri River along Nebraska's border: (1) Shovelnose sturgeon Scaphirhynchus platorynchus are the most common sturgeon species, (2) pallid sturgeon S. albus are scarcer than shovelnose sturgeon and are listed as federally endangered and (3) lake sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens are the rarest sturgeon species in Nebraska and are listed as a state threatened species. Currently, hatchery supplemental programs were initiated to augment the existing pallid and lake sturgeon populations and three agencies collaborate to monitor the sturgeon populations in Nebraska under the guidance of the Pallid Sturgeon Population Assessment (PSPA) Program. The shovelnose sturgeon population appears to be stable with catch rates of shovelnose sturgeon increasing in a downstream trend. The wild pallid sturgeon population above Gavins Point Dam may be extirpated while the population appears stable below. Pallid sturgeon hatchery supplementation has bolstered the suppressed wild population to the extent that the current population is primarily fish of hatchery origin. Lake sturgeon captured in Nebraska appears to be mainly hatchery-reared fish from the Missouri Department of Conservation's Recovery Program. Sturgeon are a long-lived, highly migratory species; therefore, a long-term, system wide monitoring program is necessary to detected temporal and spatial changes in the sturgeon population. As sampling continues under the protocols of the PSPA Program, sturgeon population trends will continue to be monitored.
Title: Age and Growth of Shovelnose Sturgeon and Blue Suckers in the Missouri River after the 2011 Flood
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
4:00 pm - 4:20 pm
Authors: Josh Wilhelm, Nebraska Game and Parks
Abstract: The flood of 2011 caused a large influx of food and nutrients into the Missouri River. Little is known about how major flood events on the Missouri River affect fish age and growth characteristics. To address part of this question pectoral spines were collected from 194 shovelnose sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus platorynchus) and 289 blue suckers (Cycleptus elongates) during spring standardized sampling for the pallid sturgeon assessment program in segment 8 (River Mile 753.0-595.0) and segment 9 (River Mile 595.0-367.5) on the Missouri River. This study will examine whether these species showed accelerated growth rates during and after the 2011 flood. To further examine the effects of flooding, relative weights will be calculated for these two species preceding flooding, during flooding and each year after the 2011 flood to determine any positive or negative affects to fish condition.
Title: Population Size of Pallid Sturgeon in the Lower Missouri River near Kansas City, MO
Date/Time: Monday, January 27
4:20 pm - 4:40 pm
Authors: Kyle Winders, Missouri Department of Conservation; Kirk Steffensen, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Abstract: Listed as endangered in 1990, pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) is one of the rarest fish species in the Missouri River. The population size of pallid sturgeon has been estimated for a reach of the Missouri River near Plattsmouth, NE. However, the population size is not currently known for the rest of the lower Missouri River, an area with highly variable catch rates of pallid sturgeon. In this study, we used the robust design within Program MARK to estimate the population size of pallid sturgeon within a 43.3 river kilometer (rkm) reach near Missouri City, MO using mark-recapture data of fish sampled during broodstock collection efforts in 2011 to 2013. The annual population estimate of wild pallid sturgeon in this study area varied from 0.6 to 0.9 fish/rkm; whereas, the population estimate of known hatchery-origin pallid sturgeon varied from 5.5 to 10.2 fish/rkm. These population estimates are less than the estimates near Plattsmouth, NE.
ASIAN CARP
Tuesday, January 28
1:20 p.m. - 4:40 p.m.
Title: Asian carp: Social Science Research Needs for Sound Adaptive Management and Policies
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 28
1:20 pm - 1:40 pm
Authors: Lama BouFajreldin, Illinois Natural History Survey; Craig A. Miller, Illinois Natural History Survey
Abstract: Asian carp refer to a group of four invasive fish species (silver, bighead, black, and grass carp). Asian carp are currently detected near the Chicago Area Waterway System in the Illinois River and pose serious social, ecological, and economic threats to communities of the Mississippi River basin and the Great Lakes. Through the United States Army Corps of Engineers Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS) and the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee, federal, state, and local agencies are collaboratively working to curb invasions using technical solutions around the Great Lakes. Social science studies of GLMRIS conducted to track prospective effects of Asian carp and their management were limited to: (a) baseline assessments of commercial fisheries economics, and cargo and non-cargo traffic, and (b) documentation of subsistence fisheries and their cultural values to tribes as well as current fish tournaments occurring in the GLMRIS region. Studies exploring current impacts of Asian carp and its management on a wide spectrum of stakeholders experiencing such impacts are lacking. This paper discusses the need to understand local communities' perspectives and concerns that are central in making informed management decisions considerate of the local context. As such, this paper: (a) provides an overview of the Asian carp situation in the Mississippi River basin, (b) discusses current and planned management plans to prevent invasion into the Great Lakes, and (c) addresses social science research needs that highlight the local context as a basis for adaptive Asian carp management and policies.
Title: Evaluation of Gears for Sampling Different Life Stages of Asian Carp
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 28
1:40 pm - 2:00 pm
Authors: Steven E. Butler, Illinois Natural History Survey; Jonathan A. Freedman, Stetson University; Matthew J. Diana, Illinois Natural History Survey; David H. Wahl, Illinois Natural History Survey
Abstract: Bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) and silver carp (H. molitrix), together known as Asian carp, are established throughout much of the Illinois Waterway. However, the distribution of various life stages and the most effective gears for monitoring each species are unclear. Neuston nets were used to sample for Asian carp larvae, whereas a combination of active (boat electrofishing, beach seines, purse seines, cast nets, and midwater trawls) and passive gears (gill nets, fyke nets, mini-fyke nets, and hoop nets) were used to sample juvenile and adult Asian carp during 2011 and 2012. New gears (pound nets, large diameter hoop nets, and surface-to-bottom gill nets) were also evaluated in 2012. Asian carp were more abundant in lower reaches than in upper reaches of the Illinois River, and no Asian carp were observed in the Chicago Area Waterway System. Asian carp larvae were only sampled from the lower Illinois River, but few juveniles were captured, suggesting poor recruitment. Hoop nets, fyke nets, and trammel nets were most effective at capturing adult bighead carp, whereas electrofishing was most effective at capturing adult silver carp. Pound nets and surface-to-bottom gill nets were generally effective gears, whereas large diameter hoop nets underperformed relative to traditional hoop nets. Our results can be used to guide future sampling efforts monitoring the distribution and abundance of Asian carp.
Title: Recruitment of Grass Carp in the Great Lakes Basin
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 28
2:00 pm - 2:20 pm
Authors: Duane C. Chapman, USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center; Jeremiah J. Davis, Bowling Green State University; Jill A. Jenkins, USGS National Wetlands Research Center; Patrick M. Kocovsky, USGS Lake Erie Biological Station; Jeffrey G. Miner, Bowling Green State University; John Farver, Bowling Green State University; P. Ryan Jackson, USGS Illinois Water Science Center
Abstract: We use otolith microchemistry, ploidy analysis, and aging techniques to assess whether six grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idella captured from the Sandusky River were the result of natural reproduction within the Lake Erie basin. Multiple lines of evidence indicate that natural reproduction occurred in the Sandusky River. First, at least four of the fish were diploid; diploid grass carp cannot legally be released in the Great Lakes basin. Second, elevated Strontium:Calcium (Sr:Ca) ratios occurred in otoliths of grass carp from the Sandusky River, with elevated Sr:Ca ratios throughout the otolith transect, compared to grass carp from Missouri and Arkansas ponds. This reflects the high Sr:Ca ratio of the Sandusky River, and indicates that these fish lived in a high-strontium environment for their entire lives. Third, Sandusky River fish were higher in Sr:Ca ratio variability than fish from ponds, reflecting the high but spatially and temporally variable strontium concentrations of southwestern Lake Erie tributaries, and not the stable environment of pond aquaculture. Fourth, Sr:Ca ratios in Sandusky River grass carp were lower in their 2011 growth increment than the 2012 growth increment, reflecting the observed inverse relationship between discharge and strontium concentration in these rivers. We conclude that natural reproduction of grass carp has occurred within the Lake Erie basin. Also, we used genetic analysis to determine the degree of shared parentage between these six fish. These findings have profound implications not only regarding the potential for grass carp establishment in Lake Erie, but also for the related bigheaded carps (Hypophthalmicthys spp.)
Title: Spawning and Movements of Bigheaded Carps in the Wabash River, Indiana
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 28
2:20 pm - 2:40 pm
Authors: Alison A Coulter, Purdue University; Reuben R. Goforth, Purdue University
Abstract: Bigheaded carps continue to rapidly spread throughout the Mississippi River Basin and information on their movements and spawning may prove vital for control efforts. Using data collected from 2011-2013, we will investigate environmental variables thought to influence the movements and spawning of bigheaded carps in the Wabash River, Indiana. Movement data were collected with an acoustic telemetry study involving 300 silver and bighead carp. Movements will be examined in relation to time, sex, temperature and flow. Using temperature, growing degree day and flow characteristics, we will also examine factors thought to be important as spawning cues as well as egg density as a surrogate for spawning activity. We expect this information to be useful to both managers and those attempting to model bigheaded carp expansion in novel ecosystems.
Title: Competitive Interactions Between Bighead Carp and Bluegill
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 28
2:40 pm - 3:00 pm
Authors: Kirsten Nelson, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana; Dr. Dave Wahl, Illinois Natural History Survey; Dr. Greg Sass, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Abstract: Invasive species are a driving force of global ecosystem change. Asian carp (bighead carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis and silver carp H. molitrix) are invasive obligate planktivores that established in the Mississippi River Basin in the 1970s, and since then their populations have grown exponentially. The full implications of their influences on native fishes in the Mississippi River Basin are unclear. While previous research demonstrated that Asian carp are associated with degraded body condition of native planktivores such as paddlefish (Polyodon spathula), bigmouth buffalo (Ictiobus cyprinellus), and gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum), research is lacking for facultative planktivores. Using bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) as my facultative planktivore species, I manipulated densities of both bluegill and bighead carp in a mesocosm experiment to better understand how these two species may influence each other by competing for limiting zooplankton. We found that bluegill stocked in low densities exhibited a linear decrease in size with increasing bighead carp densities. Bighead carp did not display similar density dependence; instead, intraspecific competition appeared to be most influential when the carp were stocked at high densities regardless of total fish density. This research can contribute to our growing understanding of the influences Asian carp exert on our native fish populations.
BREAK ~ 3:00 p.m. - 3:40 p.m.
Title: Use of Harvest Simulation Models for Silver Carp Populations in Several U.S. Rivers
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 28
3:40 pm - 4:00 pm
Authors: Quinton Phelps , Missouri Department of Conservation and Southeast Missouri State University; Justin Seibert, Missouri Department of Conservation and Southeast Missouri State University; Sara Tripp, Missouri Department of Conservation; Levi Solomon, Illinois Natural History Survey; Tom Stefanavage, Indiana Department of Natural Resources; David Herzog, Missouri Department of Conservation
Abstract: Silver carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix have become highly abundant and have established populations throughout the majority of Midwestern U.S. rivers. Recent research has suggested that silver carp may be competing with native planktivores. This has prompted multiple state and federal agencies to begin to develop a national management plan for silver carp. In order to manage silver carp through eradication or control, commercial fishing has been purported as having the greatest potential. However, for a management action to be successful, determining the level of harvest required to reduce silver carp populations is essential. Therefore, we collected silver carp from Midwestern U.S. rivers (i.e., Illinois, Missouri, Wabash, Ohio, Upper, Middle, and Lower Mississippi). Silver carp were weighed, measured, sexed, and aged (via lapilli otoliths) to obtain population demographics in each specific river. Using these population parameters we simulated harvest levels using a spawning potential ratio approach to determine target size and the amount of harvest needed to recruitment overfish the population within each particular river system. Overall, we determined that silver carp populations (regardless of river) must be intensively commercially exploited (i.e., 27-33%) at a small size (i.e., 300 to 400mm) to negatively influence overall reproductive potential. This study provides the multiple federal, and state agencies with information about the level of harvest needed to reduce and subsequently control silver carp populations.
Title: Using hydroacoustics to assess Asian carp population density during integrated control efforts
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 28
4:00 pm - 4:20 pm
Authors: Jose M. Rivera, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Center for Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences; David C. Glover, The Ohio State University, Aquatic Ecology Laboratory, Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology; James Garvey, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Center for Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences; Robert F. Gaugush, USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center; Kevin S. Irons, Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Patrick M. Kocovsky, USGS Great Lakes Science Center, Lake Erie Biological Station; Mark P. Gaikowski, USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Abstract: Invasive Bighead Carp (Hypoththalmichthys nobilis) and Silver Carp (H. molitrix) have demonstrated their ability to quickly dominate local fish populations with their rapid growth and reproductive rates. Having become entrenched in the Illinois River, they now account for over 60% of the total fish biomass. An increasing amount of evidence suggests that their high filter feeding capabilities are negatively impacting many native fish species in areas they have invaded. The potential undesirable ecological and economic effects caused by their invasion of the Great Lakes ecosystem have caused great concern, prompting state and federal agencies to evaluate new strategies to control Asian carp and understand how they can be integrated to maximize effectiveness.

In this collaborative study among the U.S. Geological Survey, Southern Illinois University and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, mobile hydroacoustic surveys were used to evaluate a variety of control methods (i.e., feeding attractants, commercial harvest and water gun technology) with respect to their ability to affect the spatial distribution of Asian carp density and abundance. The effectiveness of water guns as a barrier to Asian carp movement between the Illinois River and a backwater lake near Morris, IL was examined using hydroacoustic data recorded at set time intervals before, during, and after use of the water guns. The distribution of fish relative to water gun operation, including the distance fish moved in response to water gun operation, will be discussed.
Title: Recruitment sources of Asian carps in pools 20-26 of the upper Mississippi River
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 28
4:20 pm - 4:40 pm
Authors: Greg Whitledge, Center for Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences, Southern Illinois University; Jacob Norman, Center for Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences, Southern Illinois University; Quinton Phelps, Open Rivers and Wetlands Field Station, Missouri Department of Conservation
Abstract: Knowledge of recruitment sources for bighead carp (Hypopthalmichthys nobilis) and silver carp (H. molitrix) inhabiting the lowermost section (pools 20-26) of the upper Mississippi River would be valuable for developing control strategies to limit further population expansion and impacts of these species, particularly upstream from Lock and Dam 19 where they are currently less abundant. However, the relative contributions of the upper Mississippi River itself, its principle tributaries, and the middle Mississippi (downstream of the Missouri River confluence) and Missouri rivers to Asian carp stocks in the upper Mississippi River is unknown. The objectives of this study were to identify natal environment of adult Asian carps in pools 20-26 of the upper Mississippi River using stable isotope and trace element analyses of otolith cores. Results to date indicate that the majority of adult Asian carp in this section of the Mississippi River were immigrants that originated in the middle Mississippi River. Efforts to suppress further increases in abundance of Asian carps in the upper Mississippi River should account for the importance of downstream river reaches to Asian carp recruitment.
ASIAN CARP
Wednesday, January 29
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Title: Asian Carp Symposium Welcome
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
7:55 am - 8:00 am
Presenter: Jason Goeckler, Fisheries Research Supervisor for the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism
Title: Environmental DNA: an early detection tool used in the surveillance for invasive Bighead and Silver Carp
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
8:00 am - 8:10 am
Authors: Emy Monroe, Whitney Genetics Laboratory, US Fish and Wildlife Service; Kelly Baerwaldt, US Army Corps of Engineers
Abstract: Environmental DNA (eDNA) has been used as an early detection tool for aquatic invasive species. eDNA is genetic material shed by living or dead organisms into the environment in urine, feces, mucous, or sloughed cells. eDNA surveillance utilizes polymerase chain reaction to target specific species DNA in environmental samples and detection of the genetic material is linked to the possible presence of the target species. Monitoring efforts for Bighead and Silver Carp were initiated in the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS), and ongoing monitoring efforts in the CAWS, Great Lakes, and Ohio and Mississippi Rivers are the result of collaboration among federal, state, academic and non-governmental organizations. Research to refine and improve eDNA techniques has been executed in a cooperative eDNA calibration study (ECALS). Results from ECALS incorporated into the monitoring program increase confidence in the interpretation of eDNA results to facilitate effective management responses to stop the spread of Bighead and Silver Carp as well as improve efficiency and reduce costs. ECALS is a multi-year, multi-faceted study with three main tasks: 1) Calibration of eDNA as a surveillance tool by determining DNA shedding and degradation rates as well as calibration of field sampling and lab methods to improve efficiency; 2) marker development to improve the likelihood of detecting DNA shed by live fish and increase lab efficiency; and 3) assessing the potential of vectors to transfer eDNA to areas where the source fish are not present and developing tools to minimize the impact of vector-borne eDNA on surveillance programs.
Title: Biotic and Abiotic Factors Affecting eDNA Degradation
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
8:10 am - 8:20 am
Authors: Richard F. Lance, US Army ERDC Environmental Laboratory; Heather L. Farrington, US Army ERDC Environmental Laboratory, Xin Guan, Badger Technical Services; Matthew R. Carr, Badger Technical Services; Michael G. Jung, Badger Technical Services; Karen C. Bascom, Badger Technical Services; Kelly L. Baerwaldt, US Army Corps of Engneers
Abstract: The fate of eDNA within natural systems is poorly understood and this knowledge gap limits the inferential power of eDNA data and the ability to make decisions based on these data. Here we report on the influences of varying levels of pH, temperature, light exposure, turbulence, and microbial loads on the relative rate of eDNA degradation. Controlled lab experiments focused on the change in estimated DNA marker copy number in an eDNA slurry exposed to a range of treatment levels for each of the above factors over periods of up to 28 days. The slurry was derived from waste materials collected from tanks holding bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis). In many cases, eDNA appeared to degrade rapidly (~70% loss) over a short period (1-2 days), followed by a slower degradation phase, and a small portion (~10%) that persisted beyond the length of the trials. To date, differences in temperature and microbial load have shown the greatest influence on degradation rate, while differences in pH also had a significant influence. Degradation rates were largely unaffected by differences in turbulence. The influence of light exposure and the combined affect of multiple factors will also be reported. Endogenous PCR inhibitors appeared to have significant effects on results. By providing a fuller understanding of how different factors influence eDNA degradation, we hope to further the field of eDNA application and make the method an increasingly powerful tool for meeting environmental challenges.
Title: Advancements in Markers for the Detection of Bigheaded Carp DNA from Environmental Samples
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
8:20 am - 8:30 am
Authors: Jon J. Amberg, U. S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, La Crosse, WI; S. Grace McCalla, U. S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, La Crosse, WI; Christopher Merkes, IAP Worldwide Services Inc., Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, La Crosse, WI; Richard Lance, U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS; Christine E. Edwards, U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS and Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO; Heather Farrington, U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS; Xin Guan, Badger Technical Services, LLC, Vicksburg, MS; Matthew Carr, Badger Technical Services, LLC, Vicksburg, MS; Karen Bascom, Badger Technical Services, LLC, Vicksburg, MS; Katy Klymus, U. S. Geological Survey, Columbia Environmental Research Center, Columbia, MO; Catherine A. Richter, U. S. Geological Survey, Columbia Environmental Research Center, Columbia, MO; Mark P. Gaikowski, U. S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, La Crosse, WI
Abstract: Environmental DNA (eDNA) is currently used to monitor for the presence of invasive bigheaded carps, Hypophthalmichthys nobilis and H. molitrix, throughout the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS), Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi River. The current conventional polymerase chain reaction (cPCR) markers can produce several non-target products of similar sizes to the targeted band or be significantly inhibited, producing difficult to interpret cPCR gels and raising concerns related to non-detection of DNA in samples which are strongly inhibited. Improved markers and transition to real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) are highly desirable by resource managers to reduce non-specific amplification and inhibition and to speed DNA processing. As part of a large inter-agency collaboration, several new markers for H. nobilis and H. molitrix, including complimentary cPCR markers and qPCR markers have been designed. Additionally, varying length cPCR markers were designed which amplify varying length DNA sequences with the intent to assess DNA degradation post-release from a fish. We will describe approaches used to: 1) validate the efficiency and specificity of each marker, 2) optimize assays, and 3) determine limits of detection. Promising new markers have been used to detect and assess the degradation of the DNA of H. nobilis and H. molitrix in samples from waters (Mississippi, Illinois, Yazoo and Wabash Rivers)where bigheaded carps are present and to relate fish biomass with eDNA quantity in laboratory studies. Validated markers developed will be available for use in Asian carp monitoring programs.
Title: Asian Carp eDNA Surveillance Monitoring in the Great Lakes
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
8:30 am - 8:40 am
Authors: Timothy R. Strakosh, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Chris Jerde, University of Notre Dame; Andrew Tucker, The Nature Conservancy; Lindsay Chadderton, The Nature Conservancy. Andy Mahon, Central Michigan University. David Lodge, University of Notre Dame
Abstract: Following the detection of silver carp environmental DNA (eDNA) in Calumet Harbor Lake Michigan and the upper Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS), eDNA surveillance monitoring efforts were initiated across the Great Lakes basin. Initial surveillance efforts were primarily concentrated on those Lake Michigan tributaries closest to the CAWS and U.S. tributaries and embayments of Lake Erie near historic captures of bighead carp. Subsequent surveillance efforts have been expanded to cover tributaries of Lakes Huron, Michigan, St Clair and Erie that are considered capable of supporting Asian carp recruitment. Here we report on the results of current eDNA surveillance efforts within the Great Lakes and outline the rationale and directions of future Asian carp eDNA surveillance efforts.
Title: Microbial Source Tracking and Its Potential to Assist Edna Assay for Asian Carp Monitoring
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
8:40 am - 8:50 am
Authors: Wen-Tso Liu, Lin Ye, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Jon J. Amberg, Mark P. Gaikowski, and Duane Chapman, United States Geological Survey
Abstract: Gut microbiota of invasive Asian silver carp and indigenous planktivorous gizzard shad in Mississippi river basin were compared using 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing. Analysis of more than 440,000 quality-filtered sequences obtained from the foregut and hindgut of gizzard shad (GZSD) and silver carp (SVCP) revealed high microbial diversity in these samples. GZSD hindgut samples (n=23) with > 7000 operational taxonomy units (OTUs) exhibited the highest alpha diversity indices followed by SVCP foregut (n=15), GZSD foregut (n=9) and SVCP hindgut (n=24). UniFrac distance-based non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) analysis showed that the microbiota of GZSD and SVCP hindgut were clearly separated into two clusters: samples in the GZSD cluster were observed to vary by sampling location and samples in the SVCP cluster by sampling date. NMDS further revealed distinct microbial community between foregut to hindgut for individual GZSD and SVCP. Cyanobacteria, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Bacteroidetes were detected as the predominant phyla regardless of fish or gut type. The high abundance of Cyanobacteria observed was possibly supported by their role as the fish's major food source. Furthermore, unique and shared OTUs and OTUs in each gut type were identified, three OTUs from the order Bacteroidales, the genus Bacillariophyta, and the genus Clostridium were found significantly more abundant in GZSD hindgut (14.9%-22.8%) than in SVCP hindgut (0.13%-4.1%) samples. These differences were presumably caused by the differences in the types of food sources including bacteria ingested, the gut morphology and digestion, and the physiological behavior between GZSD and SVCP.
Question & Answer Time with First 5 Presenters ~ 8:50 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Title: Assessment of Great Lakes tributaries for Asian carp spawning and egg-transport suitability
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
9:00 am - 9:20 am
Authors: Elizabeth A. Murphy, U.S. Geological Survey; Tatiana Garcia, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Duane Chapman, U.S. Geological Survey; P. Ryan Jackson, U.S. Geological Survey; Marcelo Garcia, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract: Determining if a river is suitable for Asian carp spawning and recruitment has typically been done by comparing it to rivers where successful spawning and recruitment have been observed. This observation-based technique has led to generalized guidelines about river length and hydraulic characteristics required for Asian carp spawning and recruitment. However, recent research by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Illinois combined the biological and physical properties of developing eggs with the hydraulics and water-quality of rivers to develop a science-based approach to spawning river assessment. This collaboration included the assessment of four Great Lakes tributaries and the creation of the Fluvial Egg transport (FluEgg) numerical model. The research has shown that all four studied tributaries are suitable for spawning and egg development under the right conditions, and that the river length and velocity required are much smaller than has been previously estimated. In addition, recent evidence of successful spawning and recruitment by grass carp in the Sandusky River, a tributary of Lake Erie, further supports the research conclusions. These advances in the understanding of Asian carp spawning and recruitment habitat requirements have greatly expanded the number of rivers at risk for potential spawning and recruitment. This research can be used by resource managers to identify rivers at risk for recruitment of Asian carp in the Great Lakes and across the U.S. where control measures may be applied to disrupt spawning or recruitment.
Title: Hydraulic and Water Quality Evaluation of Asian Carp Habitat in the Upper Illinois River
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
9:20 am - 9:40 am
Authors: James J. Duncker. U.S. Geological Survey-Illinois Water Science Center
Abstract: The upstream movement of Asian carp through the Illinois River has been documented through intensive field surveys and contracted commercial fishing. Since 2006, the upstream movement of the carp population has stalled in the Marseilles and Dresden Island pools. Several hypotheses have been proposed for the apparent stalling of Asian carp in this reach of the Illinois River. Sharp contrasts in habitat, flow conditions, water quality, and food supply between these pools and the Chicago Area Waterway System may be acting as controlling factors to the stalled expansion. The USGS seeks to identify the controlling factor(s), with the possibility that one or more of these factors could be used to prevent future movement or to reduce existing Asian carp populations.

Several techniques are being used to characterize the factors that may be stalling the movement. Detailed velocity data were collected by using Acoustic Doppler current profilers over a range of flows in the main channel and backwater areas of the river and mapped using the Velocity Mapping Tool Multi-parameter water-quality sondes were deployed at strategic main channel and backwater locations and existing water-quality data will be reviewed to document the water-quality conditions within the river. Day-to-day movement of Asian carp recorded from telemetered fish will be analyzed with the flow and water-quality data to evaluate fish response to changing flow conditions. Analysis of these data will provide insights into the factors that may contribute to the stalling of Asian carp movement in the upper pools of the Illinois River.
Title: Demographic Responses of Asian Carp to Harvest in the Illinois River
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
9:40 am - 10:00 am
Authors: David Glover, The Ohio State University; Marybeth Brey, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale; Wesley Bouska Southern Illinois University-Carbondale; and James Garvey, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
Abstract: Numerous strategies have been devised to reduce the spread of Asian carp toward the Great Lakes through the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS), yet the last line of defense remains a series of electric dispersal barriers located on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. Harvest could be a viable option to push the leading edge of the Asian carp population downstream to reduce pressure on the electric barriers, yet it is unclear how to best allocate fishing effort along the Illinois River waterway. Commercial fishing is legal only in the downstream reaches where reproducing Asian carp are in high abundance; fish processing plants have been expanded in this area to support the removal of Asian carp yet there is currently no mechanism in place for subsidizing these fishing efforts. The upper Illinois waterway is not conducive for Asian carp spawning, but it does harbor large reproductively capable individuals that are kept at bay via state-contracted commercial fishermen. To jump-start the free-market commercial fishery downstream, we initiated an Asian Carp Incentives Pilot Program in spring 2012 that resulted in the removal of nearly 3 million pounds of Asian carp from the lower Illinois River for conversion into fish meal. Significant changes in the size structure, relative abundance, and sex ratios of Asian carp were observed in 2012 relative to 2011. In the upper Illinois waterway, a mark-recapture study conducted in 2012 indicated that while contracted fish exploitation was as high as 76% over a 20-week period, the population did not begin declining until fall when immigration of Asian carp into the upper Illinois waterway carp declined. As such, late-year harvest could be essential at keeping Asian carp densities low to curtail upstream movement toward the CAWS barrier. Moreover, limiting immigration to upstream areas via harvest of Asian carp from the downstream source will likely be imperative for controlling their further expansion toward the CAWS. Optimal harvest strategies along the Illinois River will have to weigh the benefits of removing reproductively viable individuals from the downstream areas against the potential risks of not focusing harvest toward non-reproducing, albeit capable, individuals that pose an immediate threat to the Great Lakes due to proximity.
Title: Integrating telemetry with eDNA to determine habitat use, movements, and spawning of Asian carps in the Wabash River, IN
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
10:00 am - 10:20 am
Authors: Reuben R. Goforth, Purdue University, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources; Jon J. Amberg, U. S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center; Christopher B. Rees, U. S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center; S. Grace McCalla, U. S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center; Katherine Touzinsky, Purdue University, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources; and Alison Coulter, Purdue University, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources
Abstract: Acoustic telemetry and environmental DNA (eDNA) techniques are being widely used to study behaviors and detect the presence of bigheaded carps, respectively. There has been much debate about the effectiveness of eDNA monitoring as a means for detecting new introductions of bigheaded carps, and use of eDNA data to gain insight into habitat use and abundance of these fishes remains poorly developed. There are currently 297 acoustically tagged bigheaded carps in the Wabash River, IN, that are being passively and actively telemetered. These tagged fishes offer a unique opportunity to conduct intensive eDNA sampling to determine whether spatiotemporal changes in eDNA detection are related to movements and spawning behaviors of bigheaded carps. We thus attempted to link detections and quantities of bigheaded carp eDNA with changes in flow, fish movements, and drifting egg densities. Our data indicate that the presence and quantities of bigheaded carp eDNA are related to fish activities and river flows in the Wabash River, suggesting that eDNA reconnaissance can provide highly useful information beyond simply indicating presence or absence of these or other aquatic species of nuisance or conservation concern.
BREAK ~ 10:20 a.m. - 10:40 a.m.
Title: Prevention of Adult Asian Carp Movement to the Lake Erie Basin at Eagle Marsh near Fort Wayne, Indiana
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
10:40 am - 11:00 am
Authors: Paul M. Buszka, U.S. Geological Survey, Indiana - Kentucky Water Science Center Commonwealth; Kenneth H. Lamkin, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville District
Abstract: Adult bighead carp have been in the Wabash River for at least 15 years; there is concern for their potential movement into the Lake Erie basin. A temporary adult carp barrier fence and water-level alert were constructed in 2011 in Eagle Marsh in northeast Indiana at an intermittent interconnection between the Wabash River (Mississippi River basin) and Maumee River (Lake Erie basin) watersheds.

Hydrologic and visual observations in 2011 and 2013 identified how the Wabash River and Maumee River watersheds intermittently connect through Eagle Marsh when Asian carp, if present, could bypass the current berm. Flooding during June 2013 in a Wabash River tributary after a local 4-5 in. rainfall produced a one-day connection of the watersheds. This connection coincided with stream temperatures (?17-25 ?C) that potentially favor Asian carp movement. Observations during a 2013 event identified conditions when flood water from a Maumee River tributary reversed flow toward Eagle Marsh. During the 2011 and 2013 events, common carp were identified in the marsh in ponds and at the barrier fence but no Asian carp were observed.

Partner organizations plan to remove the fence and raise, widen, and extend a berm along a Wabash River tributary in Eagle Marsh to separate the basins and prevent Asian carp movement through the marsh for storm events less than the 1 percent annual chance of exceedance. Computer-based hydrologic simulations are being used to evaluate effectiveness of the improved berm to prevent Asian carp movement, maintain flood storage, and minimize induced flooding.
Title: Integration of chemical stimuli and micro-particles for the control of bigheaded carps
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
11:00 am - 11:20 am
Authors: Edward E. Little, U.S. Geological Survey, Columbia Environmental Research Center, Columbia, MO; Robin D. Calfee, U.S. Geological Survey, Columbia Environmental Research Center, Columbia, MO; Jon J. Amberg, U.S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, La Crosse, WI; James A. Luoma, U.S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, La Crosse, WI; Peter Sorensen, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN; Mark P. Gaikowski, U.S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, La Crosse, WI
Abstract: A combination of approaches is currently being developed as part of an integrated pest management strategy for the control of bigheaded carps. These studies are designed to identify chemical stimuli that can attract bigheaded carp into areas where new a targeted control tool that is under development can be used. Bigheaded carps have been found to positively respond both physiologically and behaviorally to an algae diet. This food stimulus has been found to be highly stimulatory to bighead and silver carp in mesocosm tests and induced prolonged attraction in the area of release. Controlled laboratory tests indicated several components of the algal stimulus were highly attractive. Studies were also initiated to assess the conditioning of wild bigheaded carps to algal feeding stations. These feeding stations as a means of inducing aggregations of carp where various control techniques can be used. One control strategy exploits the planktivorous feeding habits of bigheaded carps. Using technologies developed for the aquaculture and food industries, microparticles that require specific digestive enzymes for release of a control agent are presently under development to selectively deliver these control agents to bigheaded carps. We will briefly describe results from studies that compare gill rakers and digestive functions between bigheaded carps and native planktivores and the consumptions of microparticles. The combination of chemical stimuli and a targeted delivery method may be a powerful integrated approach for the control of bigheaded carps.
Title: Field application of carbon dioxide to influence the movement and activity of fishes
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
11:20 am - 11:40 am
Authors: Cory D. Suski, University of Illinois; Shivani Adhikari, University of Illinois; Adam Wright, University of Illinois; Clark E. Dennis III, University of Illinois; Jon Amberg, USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center; Nathan R. Jensen, USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center; Aaron R. Cupp, USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center; Michael J. Parsly, Western Fisheries Research Center; Mark Gaikowski, USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Abstract: Bighead carp and silver carp are currently contained within the Mississippi River basin by a pair of electrified barriers. Additional barrier technologies would provide added security and redundancy to efforts to keep them from entry into the Great Lakes where they could have serious negative consequences. Recent work has shown that carbon dioxide gas (CO2) applied to water has potential to repel fish, including bighead carp and silver carp, from an area, thereby acting as non-physical barrier. Results to date have been generated only from laboratory studies, thus the efficacy of CO2 to influence movement at large scales with free-swimming fish is not known. The current study quantified the effectiveness of CO2 at influencing the movement, activity and position of free-swimming fishes. For this, a CO2 infusion system was installed into a 0.22 ha outdoor pond (dimensions 33.5 m ? 64.6 m ? 2.4 m deep). The positions of silver carp (n=10), bighead carp (n=10), bigmouth buffalo (n=5), channel catfish (n=5), yellow perch (n=5) and paddlefish (n=5) were tracked in the pond by acoustic telemetry before, during and after addition of CO2 gas to the pond. Fish position, activity and behavior in the presence of an elevated CO2 zone were quantified. Results demonstrate that the zone of elevated CO2 influenced the behavior and position of fish. Results are further discussed in the context of the costs and benefits of CO2 barrier technology to deter the movement of bighead carp and silver carp.
Title: Evaluation of an approach to integrated pest management of Bighead Carp and Silver Carp
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 29
11:40 am - 12:00 pm
Authors: Mark P. Gaikowski, USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center; Ryan Adams, USGS Illinois Water Science Center; Robin Calfee, USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center; James Duncker, USGS Illinois Water Science Center; Robert F. Gaugush, USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center; David C. Glover, The Ohio State University, Aquatic Ecology Laboratory, Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology; Kevin S. Irons, Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Patrick M. Kocovsky, USGS Great Lakes Science Center, Lake Erie Biological Station; Edward E. Little, USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center; Elizabeth A. Murphy, USGS Illinois Water Science Center; Michael J. Parsley, Western Fisheries Research Center, Columbia River Research Laboratory; Jose M. Rivera, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Center for Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences
Abstract: Multiple investigations are developing methods to manage invasive Bighead Carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis and Silver Carp H. molitrix spreading through the Mississippi River basin and threatening to invade other drainage basins. This project sought to integrate several of those methods to increase removal of Bighead Carp and Silver Carp from a backwater along the Illinois River near Morris, IL and to demonstrate the integration of those methods to fishery managers. Mobile hydroacoustic surveys were used to characterize the distribution of fish within the backwater then algal feeding attractants were injected at predetermined locations. A water gun barrier was established at the narrowest location of the backwater about 14 h before commercial fishing commenced. The presence of fish near the water gun barrier was assessed by split-beam hydroacoustic transducers aligned in 3 fixed lanes around the barrier. Mobile hydroacoustic surveys, algal feeding attractant injection and water gun barrier operation continued through 3 consecutive days of commercial fishing. Five commercial fishers fished three gillnet sets (732 m sets consisting of alternating 91 m segments of 8.9 and 10.2 cm gill net) in predetermined zones on each day. Fish harvest (species and size) was recorded for each fisher by location and date. The presence of fish near the water gun barrier and the change in fish distribution within the backwater as a function of algal feeding, water gun barrier operation and commercial fishing pressure was assessed. Commercial fishing efforts removed ~6,710 kg of Bighead Carp and Silver Carp.
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