HOME
REGISTRATION
SCHEDULE
CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS
SYMPOSIA
TECHNICAL SESSIONS & SYMPOSIA GRID
PLENARY SESSIONS
WORKSHOPS
TRAVEL LOGISTICS
EXHIBITORS & SPONSORS
FUTURE MEETINGS
CONTACT US
FacebookTwitter
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.
Symposium- Confronting centuries of change: restoration challenges for Midwestern Rivers
Monday, February 9
10:40 am - 12:00 pm
Title: Mississippi River Tragedies: A Century of Unnatural Disaster
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
10:40 am - 11:00 am
Authors: Christine A. Klein, University of Florida, Levin College of Law
Abstract: Americans have done astounding things to bend the rivers of the Mississippi Basin to their will: transform a thousand miles of roiling current into a placid staircase of water; straitjacket the rivers between walls of levees; even force a stream to flow uphill. These efforts have been in pursuit of an unnatural human construct: the floodless floodplain. The transformation of the basin was facilitated by well-intentioned federal laws and policies designed to keep people safe from floods and to promote navigation. But despite their laudable goals, many of these efforts back-fired and magnified the impacts of storms, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. This presentation will chronicle the transformation of the Mississippi from a natural river into an "unnatural disaster" waiting to happen. The presentation will conclude with lessons learned and suggestions for the path forward.
Title: Consistency Among Biotic Indices to Represent Environmental Conditions: Implications for Restoration Monitoring
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
11:00 am - 11:20 am
Authors: Jacob Schwoerer, Missouri Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit; Craig Paukert, USGS Missouri Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit; Hope Dodd, National Park Service Heartland I&M Network
Abstract: Biotic indices are quantitative tools used to infer stream health. Since they need to be tailored to a specific faunal group (e.g. fish or aquatic invertebrates) for similar stream sizes and regions, many different indices have been created. However, it's important to understand if there is consistency among index interpretations within and across faunal groups. Investigating the differences between index interpretations could shed light on the consistency and limitations of individual indices and help managers determine which index will most accurately represent environmental conditions and responses to restoration activities. We used three fish and four aquatic invertebrate indices calculated for 148 sites in rivers and streams in Midwest national parks. Results suggest that aquatic invertebrate richness, Stream Condition Index (SCI), and percent intolerant fish individuals had low Spearman rank correlations to other indices (r<0.39), while Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera taxa richness (EPT), Hilsenhoff Biotic Index (HBI), fish Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI), and fish richness are highly correlated (r>0.46) with one another. Additionally, we used an information-theoretic approach to investigate what scale (local, segment, watershed) each index responds to in order to explain areas of inconsistencies among index interpretations and guide managers to select an appropriate index relative to the scale of restoration. Our results suggest that monitoring restoration activities using EPT, HBI, IBI, and fish species richness may provide similar results across a wide geographic range and that invertebrate indices may be used to assess small scale restorations while fish indices may be used to assess larger scale restorations.
Title: Reclaiming Natural Stream Channel in a Coastal Wetland
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
11:20 am - 11:40 am
Authors: Dan Mays, Stephanie Ogren —Little River Band of Ottawa Indians
Abstract: Along the eastern shores of northern Lake Michigan, Bowens Creek watershed is a small 6,500-ha watershed with a history of anthropogenic disturbances. Channelized streams and failing road-stream crossings fragment waters and alter natural structure and function. During winter 2012/2013, a 0.8-km channelized section of Bowens Creek was re-routed back into its natural stream channel. Along with the replacement of seven failing road stream crossing, restoration activities have re-connected 16-km of stream. Water quality, habitat, and fish and macroinvertebrate communities were monitored before and after restoration from 2010-2014. Immediate changes in water quality and in-stream habitat were observed following restoration. Post-restoration average summer water temperatures were lower in the restored section of stream (14.2บ to 12.0บ C) and dissolved oxygen levels were higher (9.5 to 11.0 mg/L). The restored section of stream became narrower and deeper, and substrate shifted from predominately silt to sand. Fish communities shifted from warm and cool water species to cold water species with substantial increases in percent dominance of brown and rainbow trout. Macroinvertebrate community IBI scores showed little to no change during this study, suggesting that longer- term monitoring may be necessary. The re-connection of Bowens Creek and its tributaries has started a change in physical, chemical and biological components that will likely continue as this system stabilizes.
BREAK
Symposium- Confronting centuries of change: restoration challenges for Midwestern Rivers
Monday, February 9
1:20 pm - 3:00 pm
Title: Inventorying Ecosystem Monitoring and Assessment Programs in the International St. Clair-Detroit Rivers System
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
11:40 am - 12:00 pm
Authors: Edward Roseman*, Robin DeBruyne, Jeremy Pritt — USGS Great Lakes Science Center, Ann Arbor, M; Justin Chiotti, US Fish and Wildlife Service Alpena Fisheries Conservation Office, Alpena, MI; Rich Drouin, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Wheatley, Ontario; Rose Ellison, US EPA, Grosse Ile, MI; Roger Knight, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, Ann Arbor, MI; Michelle Selzer, Michigan DEQ, Michigan Office of the Great Lakes, Lansing, MI; Mike Thomas, Todd Wills, Michigan DNR, Mt. Clemens, MI
Abstract: Ecosystem management requires sound scientific information derived from research, monitoring, and assessment to inform decision making and assess progress toward goals. The international St. Clair – Detroit River System (SCDRS) has a long history of environmental perturbations with numerous restoration programs completed or ongoing to repair damaged habitats and resurrect fish and wildlife populations. To measure progress toward a common agenda of restoring ecosystem integrity, numerous monitoring, assessment, and research programs have been employed by federal, state, and provincial agencies, as well as non-profit and private organizations. To begin to determine if these programs are meeting resource manager needs, we inventoried past and present monitoring and assessment programs to identify a) metrics being measured, b) monitoring objectives, c) techniques, d) spatial and temporal extent of monitoring, and e) what management plan(s) objectives does the monitoring satisfy. Our results revealed a broad array of programs throughout the SCDRS that monitor physical and biological metrics at varying spatiotemporal scales. Efforts are generally mutually beneficial and synergistic across jurisdictions and agencies, with numerous monitoring programs linked across multiple management plans and objectives. Cooperation and collaboration between partners within the SCDRS Initiative serves to reduce duplication and increases monitoring and restoration efficiency on this large Great Lakes connecting channel. Analysis of results of this inventory will be useful to guide development of future restoration and management programs.
Title: Restoration Challenges for the Future: Needed Actions in the St. Clair-Detroit River System Identified Using a Viability Analysis
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
1:20 pm - 1:40 pm
Authors: Robin L. DeBruyne, U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center, Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit, Michigan State University; Edward F. Roseman, U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center; Jason E. Ross, U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ashland Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office
Abstract: As large-scale restoration plans for degraded aquatic habitats evolve, it is essential that managers have appropriate guidance and a common vision to achieve consensus on restoration goals. Development of restoration targets and post-restoration monitoring strategies can be focused using a viability analysis framework that supports an adaptive management process. In the St. Clair-Detroit River System (SCDRS), we used a viability analysis framework to achieve a common vision and to evaluate environmental parameters associated with fisheries and aquatic restoration efforts and to gage the overall health of the aquatic environment. Steps to derive the viability analysis included: 1) establishing meaningful baseline metrics, 2) identifying information deficiencies, and 3) placing the context of current conditions into a usable format for managers and practitioners. Many metrics were unable to be assessed or assigned condition status, which identified data gaps in monitoring. Metrics associated with native migratory fishes, Lake St. Clair, and islands are generally in better condition than metrics associated with the coastal terrestrial system, aerial migrants, and coastal wetlands. This was not unexpected given the highly urbanized landscape of the SCDRS. Resource managers in the corridor will use these results to identify research and restoration priorities and assess progress towards meeting restoration goals. Viability analysis is a robust and accommodating framework, adaptable to any restoration monitoring program and, through the determination of common desired endpoints, can aid consensus building and collaboration across jurisdictional boundaries.
Title: Spatiotemporal Patterns in Egg Distribution of Lithophilic Fishes
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
1:40 pm - 2:00 pm
Authors: Jason Fischer, Jaquelyn Craig, Edward Roseman, Jeremy Pritt, Greg Kennedy, Bruce Manny — United States Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center
Abstract: Since 2004, three artificial reefs have been constructed in the St. Clair-Detroit River System (SCDRS) to repatriate gravel substrates used by lithophilic fishes (e.g., lake sturgeon, Acipenser fluvescens; lake whitefish, Coregonus clupeaformis; and walleye, Sander vitreus), which were removed during shipping channel construction. To evaluate long-term project success, spawning activity has been monitored since 2005 at artificial reef sites and throughout the SCDRS. Egg mats used to collect eggs in spring and fall months were visited weekly to enumerate and identify eggs deposited within the river and at constructed reefs. Hypotheses were developed a priori on patterns in detection probability and abundance of lake sturgeon, lake whitefish, and walleye eggs in relation to site specific (e.g., artificial reef, depth, and velocity) and temporal attributes (e.g., temperature). Hypotheses were tested with N-mixture models for open populations and Akaike information criterion was used to determine which set of variables best explained variation in egg counts. Only the abundance of lake sturgeon eggs was associated with artificial reefs and eggs were more abundant in areas with artificial reefs and deeper, faster water. Walleye egg abundance was negatively associated with depth, but positively associated with year and river kilometer. Similarly, lake whitefish egg abundance increased with distance downstream in the SCDRS. These results indicate that artificial reefs constructed in the SCDRS have been successful at providing critical spawning habitat to lake sturgeon, but may not have provided an improvement over what is already used by spawning lake whitefish and walleye.
Title: Sky-tinted Water: Managing the Minnesota River in a Historical Context
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
2:00 pm - 2:20 pm
Authors: Shannon J. Fisher, Kimberly Musser, Richard Moore — Water Resources Center, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Abstract: The Dakota Sioux referred to the glacial River Warren remnant as "Mnisota" - or sky-tinted water. The ambiguous interpretation of the name, now Minnesota River, has placed the management of this waterway into a challenging historical context. First Nation members explained the name to early explorers by dropping a milky substance into clear water, creating a cloudy appearance. In contrast, however, wild rice was plentiful in segments of the river, implying good water quality and stable hydrology were present. The Minnesota River evolved from a source of sustenance and transportation to being declared unsuitable for human contact and unfit for fish production by 1934. After decades of ongoing watershed degradation and channel modifications, the Minnesota River re-emerged as a focal point in the 1980s. In 1992, the Governor of Minnesota declared that the Minnesota River shall be fishable and swimmable in 10 years. Then in 1994, a 30-member Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) released Working Together: A Plan to Restore the Minnesota River. The plan outlined 11 approaches needed to bring the Minnesota River back to an "acceptable" condition. However, in the historic context, what reference condition would be used to determine "acceptable?" Given the Minnesota River Basin's age, geology, and land uses (e.g., ~92% agricultural production), what level of restoration is realistic? After 20 years of dedicated efforts since the CAC report, and significant investment of taxpayer resources to improve the Minnesota River, how have we done? This evaluation frames progress, challenges, and the reality of improvements in the historical context.
Title: Historical Ecology and Freshwater Mussels: A Window Into the Past
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
2:20 pm - 2:40 pm
Authors: Andrea K. Fritts, Mark W. Fritts, Jason A. DeBoer, Andrew F. Casper — Illinois Natural History Survey
Abstract: Freshwater mussels comprise a diverse fauna with multistage life histories. They are also highly imperiled animals that hold some surprising secrets about changes in the environment. The shells of freshwater mussels can provide a unique opportunity to conduct investigations of historical changes in aquatic ecosystems. Mussels deposit annual growth rings in their calcareous shells, much like tree growth rings, so that shells from archaeological and museum collections can serve as records of long-term environmental change over the past 1000 years. We used sclerochronology techniques to evaluate changes in age-and-growth patterns in two mussel species collected from the Illinois River near Havana, IL from 1894-2013. Von Bertalanffy analyses indicated that modern animals are growing at a 50% greater rate and reaching a maximum size that is 20 mm larger than their 1894 counterparts. We also used mussel shells to evaluate changes in legacy contaminants, specifically toxic metals, over the same time period. Divalent metals can be metabolically incorporated into the shell matrix of mollusks in a manner similar to calcium during periods of active growth. Archaeological shells served as a pre-industrial environmental baseline for metal concentrations prior to the arrival of European settlers. By constructing a historical biochronology response to environmental changes, we can better understand the dynamics of aquatic systems and the recovery rate after substantial perturbations and restoration efforts.
BREAK
Symposium- Confronting centuries of change: restoration challenges for Midwestern Rivers
Monday, February 9
3:40 pm - 5:00 pm
Title: Survey of Intersex (testicular oocytes) in Male Largemouth Bass from the Upper Illinois River Waterway
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
2:40 pm - 3:00 pm
Authors: Mark W. Fritts, Jason A. DeBoer, Andrea K. Fritts — Illinois Natural History Survey; Kristen A. Kellock, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality; Robert B. Bringolf, University of Georgia; Andrew F. Casper, Illinois Natural History Survey
Abstract: Intersex condition, the presence of both male and female characteristics in individuals of a normally gonochoristic species, has been documented in many watersheds among a diverse variety of fishes. Previous researchers indicated that a suite of endocrine disrupting chemicals are strongly associated with the occurrence of intersex. Although natural rates of intersex condition in wild fishes vary substantially and the fundamental mechanisms for the development of intersex in individuals may be poorly understood, new studies in highly urbanized watersheds are important to our understanding of the management implications of this condition. Environmental reforms during the last 50 years have led to improved water quality in the Upper Illinois River Waterway (IRW) and the native fish community has responded favorably. However, emerging understandings of new threats – like intersex condition – pose new concerns. Our objective was to survey the severity of intersex in male Largemouth Bass in an area directly affected by surface runoff and wastewater effluents from the Chicago Metropolitan Area. Histological analysis indicated that testicular oocytes were present in 21 of 51 (41%) of Largemouth Bass. Oocyte numbers ranged from 1-25 among intersex individuals. Our study offers a modern analysis of the severity of intersex in a population of Largemouth Bass near a major metropolitan area, which represents an important contribution to the understanding of fish reproductive ecology, particularly in ecosystems with a history of environmental disturbance and recovery such as the IRW. Continued investigation of intersex condition may assist decision makers tasked with managing fisheries affected by reproductive impairment.
Title: Temporary Connectivity: The Relative Benefits of Large River Floodplain Connectivity
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
3:40 pm - 4:00 pm
Authors: Mark T. Hempel, Missouri Department of Conservation; Quinton E. Phelps, Missouri Department of Conservation & Southeast Missouri State University; Sara J. Tripp, Missouri Department of Conservation; David P. Herzog, Missouri Department of Conservation; James E. Garvey, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Abstract: Studies have demonstrated the biotic importance of the synergistic relationship between large rivers and adjacent floodplain connectivity. The majority of the large rivers of North America and their associated floodplain have been isolated (through a series of expansive levees). Thus, evaluations of the relative importance of floodplain connectivity are limited due to the aforementioned anthropogenic perturbations. However, persistent elevated river levels during spring 2011 at the confluence of the Mississippi River and Ohio River prompted the United States Army Corps of Engineers to create large gaps in the levee system producing an expansive floodplain (i.e., the New Madrid Floodway). Specifically, the New Madrid Floodway (approximately 475 square km) in southeast Missouri was created to divert part of the Mississippi River flow during catastrophic floods and thus alleviate flood risk on nearby population centers. Since its creation, it was opened once during the extreme 1937 flood. Given the historic flooding of 2011, the floodway was again opened and provided an unprecedented opportunity to evaluate the influence of floodplain inundation on fish species diversity, relative abundance, and growth. We sampled the floodplain and the adjacent river at three stratified random locations (with replication) biweekly from the commencement of inundation (early June) through September. Overall, we found that species diversity, relative abundance, and growth were higher in the floodplain than the main river. Our data supports previous examinations (in other locations) that suggest floodplain inundation may be important for riverine fishes. Given these apparent advantages of floodplain inundation, restoration efforts must be recognize the relative biotic benefits and balance those with the needs of human users (e.g., agriculture).
Title: Overcoming Some Ecological and Societal Challenges to Restoring and Sustaining Functional Floodplain at The Nature Conservancy's Emiquon
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
4:00 pm - 4:20 pm
Authors: K. Douglas Blodgett, The Nature Conservancy
Abstract: The Nature Conservancy's Emiquon Project along the Illinois River in Illinois is an innovative experiment planning, implementing, and evaluating restoration and managed connectivity of a former river floodplain from multiple perspectives including science and technology, public policy and programs, and human use. While hydrologic connectivity between a river and its floodplain is considered a key ecological attribute and driver of healthy large-floodplain river ecosystems, restoring and reestablishing connectivity to formerly leveed floodplains can be challenging for a variety of reasons. With restored connectivity, many of the dramatic changes to the river such as altered hydrology, heavy sediment loads, and invasive species, likewise threaten its floodplain wetlands. In addition to the ecology, complex interrelationships among the Conservancy and its many partners and stakeholders on this project including state and federal agencies, the public, and other nongovernmental organizations, further complicate planning and implementation. Even so, we are optimistic that a controlled connection operated in an adaptive management framework will restore important ecological processes and provide high-quality natural habitats that will be sustainable over the long term. With an emphasis on sharing lessons learned, we anticipate our experiences at Emiquon will contribute to improved understanding of large-floodplain river ecology, restoration, and management; more effective public programs and policies; and increased societal benefits from healthy large-floodplain river ecosystems.
Title: Biotic Responders to Floodplain Connectivity: The Tradeoffs
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
4:20 pm - 4:40 pm
Authors: Heath Hagy, Chris Hine, Aaron Yetter, Michelle Horath, Joshua Osborn — Illinois Natural History Survey
Abstract: Floodplains of large river systems in the Midwest are often disconnected or partially disconnected from flood waters for the benefit of agriculture, urban development, and managed natural resource management. Many of these rivers are drastically altered from their natural state to allow commercial navigation, recreation, and managed flows. In these altered systems, tradeoffs in ecosystem services exist between connected floodplains and disconnected floodplains. We will present data from two case studies on the Illinois River of central Illinois that illustrate the tradeoffs in biotic communities using floodplains that have been connected hydrologically and those that are isolated behind levees. Wetland birds, fishes, and vegetation all respond differently to floodplain connectivity and management objectives must be considered carefully prior to restoring hydrologic connections between floodplains and highly altered river systems.
Title: Aquatic Vegetation and Fish Community Response to Restoration at The Nature Conservancy's Emiquon Nature Preserve: Implications for Floodplain Restoration and Management
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
4:40 pm - 5:00 pm
Authors: T.D. VanMiddlesworth, Illinois Natural History Survey/Illinois River Biological Station; Andrew F. Casper, Illinois Natural History Survey/Illinois River Biological Station; Nerissa N. McClelland, Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Abstract: Floodplains provide many ecosystem services including biodiversity, fish and wildlife refuge, flood-peak reduction, shoreline stabilization, groundwater recharge, sediment accretion, nutrient uptake, as well as recreational, educational, research, economic, and aesthetic services. River connectivity is critical for maintaining ecosystem integrity and services. The Illinois River is one example of a productive floodplain river system, but its natural biological productivity has changed through floodplain disconnection, elevated nutrient inputs, and invasive fish species introductions. Currently, floodplain restoration efforts are intended to benefit and improve the Illinois River, as well as others throughout the Midwest. Thompson and Flag lakes at The Nature Conservancy's (TNC) Emiquon Nature Preserve serve as one example and have sustained a diverse (10 species) and abundant native submersed aquatic vegetation (SAV) community that is otherwise difficult to find within the Illinois River Valley today. As the diversity and plant density increased since restoration, so has the species richness and biomass of native fishes. However, Common Carp Cyprinus carpio are present in the Emiquon Preserve and management is critical for maintaining balance in aquatic ecosystems. Because rotenone is not 100% effective, additional research on Largemouth Bass Micropterus salmoides, Bowfin Amia calva, and Gars Lepisosteus has been conducted and suggested that they cannot control Common Carp population growth through direct predation. Additionally, research has been conducted to assess how the aquatic vegetation and fish communities respond to river connection and natural flood events. The knowledge gained from this research will continually serve useful for the Emiquon Preserve and future floodplain restoration projects.
Big Rivers
Monday, February 9
10:40 am - 12:00 pm
Title: Daily Survival Estimates of Larval Schaphirhynchus Sturgeon in the Lower Missouri River
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
10:40 am - 11:00 am
Authors: Kyle Winders, Catlin Ames, Lawrance McGallagher, Ashley White — Missouri Department of Conservation
Abstract: Inadequate survival of larval and young-of-year life stages are hypothesized by many researchers to be a limiting factor of many sturgeon species. However, information on these survival rates, and to what level may be necessary for sustainability, are generally lacking for natural river environments. In this study, we examined the survival rates of larval and young-of-year shovelnose sturgeon in the lower Missouri River where populations are self-sustaining. Larval sturgeon were collected weekly during May through October from three sites; each site consisted of a natural or well-developed side channel and the adjacent mainstem of the Missouri River. Age, or interval between hatch date and date of sampling, was determined based on reported growth capacity and calculation of cumulative thermal units needed to reach length at date of sampling. Piece-wise catch-curve analysis was used to estimate daily survival rates of larval sturgeon. Overall, daily survival of fish 7 through 28 days of age was estimated at 89% (CI0.95 = 0.868 and 0.916) and days 29 through 70 was greater at 97% (CI0.95 = 0.965 and 0.992). There were four apparent cohorts with modal hatch dates on 5/27, 6/18, 7/05, and 8/12 and respective daily survival rates within weeks two through four of 0.931, 0.912, 0.914, and 0.878. Daily mortality rates of larval sturgeon were similar between main channel and side channel habitats (4.0 and 3.5%, respectively). These results provide reference survival rates for a population which has been self-sustaining and provides some new information on timing and habitats that may influence survival of larval sturgeon.
Title: Habitat Use of Schaphirhynchus Sturgeon Species in the Middle Mississippi River
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
11:00 am - 11:20 am
Authors: Nicholas W. Kramer, Missouri Department of Conservation, Southeast Missouri State University; Sara J. Tripp, Missouri Department of Conservation; Quinton E. Phelps, Missouri Department of Conservation, Southeast Missouri State University; David P. Herzog, Missouri Department of Conservation; Donovan B. Henry, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Peter B. Johnsen, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; K. Jack Kilgore, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Edward J. Heist, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Abstract: In recent decades, the endangered Pallid Sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) has experienced population declines within the Mississippi River Basin. Destruction and alteration of habitats due to modification is believed to be the primary cause of Pallid Sturgeon decline (i.e. decreased reproduction, growth, and recruitment). Multiple studies have been conducted to determine the effects of habitat degradation on this population. Beginning in 2013, the Missouri Department of Conservation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers initiated a cooperative project to determine the current status of the Pallid Sturgeon population in the Middle Mississippi River. From November 2013 to May 2014, trotlines were fished in the Mississippi River from the confluence of the Missouri River in St. Louis, Missouri downstream to the confluence of the Ohio River in Cairo, Illinois. During this sampling effort, a total of 37,220 hooks were deployed, capturing at total of 7,958 Shovelnose Sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus platorynchus), six genetically identified Pallid Sturgeon and three genetically identified Shovelnose Sturgeon - Pallid Sturgeon hybrids across a variety of velocities, depths, substrates, and habitat types. Using these catch records, mean CPUE was calculated for the various environmental categories in an attempt to determine environmental associations in Pallid Sturgeon captures in the Middle Mississippi River. Ultimately, this information could be used by fisheries managers to more effectively manage Pallid and Shovelnose Sturgeon populations as well as guide habitat construction and restoration efforts for the preservation of existing habitats.
Title: Current Status of Lake Sturgeon Throughout North America
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
11:20 am - 11:40 am
Authors: Kyle R. Bales, Quinton E. Phelps — Missouri Department of Conservation, Big Rivers and Wetlands Field Station and Southeast Missouri State University
Abstract: Commercial overexploitation has detrimental effects on k-selected species such as Lake Sturgeon which, exhibit late age at maturation and periodic spawning. Habitat degradation such as the construction of dams, which impedes Lake Sturgeon from being able to reach desired spawning habitat, and channelization, that leads to disconnection with the floodplain, have also negatively affected Lake Sturgeon populations. These anthropogenic impacts have initiated declines in many Lake Sturgeon populations throughout their range. Because of these negative impacts on Lake Sturgeon populations many states have implemented recovery programs to ensure sustainability or rehabilitate this species. As such, the goal of our study is to compile information from each state and province within the historic range to understand the actions that each are undertaking to manage Lake Sturgeon populations. Based on the 23 states and 5 provinces that were surveyed, a majority have implemented stocking programs or initiated strict regulations to bolster the populations. We believe that the information compiled from this survey will provide additional insight into Lake Sturgeon populations throughout their range.
Title: Population Monitoring of Shovelnose Sturgeon in the Wabash River
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
11:40 am - 12:00 pm
Authors: Craig Jansen, Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Abstract: The low proportion of gravid female shovelnose sturgeon in the Wabash River raised concerns of overfishing, yet data was lacking to properly model the effects of harvest on the population. In 2013, a subsample of shovelnose sturgeon were sacrificed (n = 294) to gather precise estimates of sex ratio and the percent of females spawning annually. Fish were captured using drifted experimental gill nets at two different locations; downstream samples (near Crawleyville, IN) represented the population as a whole, while upstream samples (near Lafayette, IN) represented the mature, spawning portion of the population. Data collected were used in FAMS to model the influence of various minimum length limits on the population. Thirty eight percent of fish in downstream samples were female; 23% of which were capable of spawning in 2013. Only 7% of fish at the upstream sample site were female. The youngest mature female was nine years old, and the youngest gravid female was 12 years. Sampling yielded 65 mature females, 18% of which were protected by the current 25 inch MLL. There were 22 females capable of spawning in 2013; only one was protected by the current MLL. Catch curve analysis estimated an annual total mortality of 0.27, and exploitation at 16.4%. Yield-per-recruit models did not indicate growth overfishing; however, SPR models suggest that recruitment overfishing may be occurring at the current rate of exploitation. A 27 inch MLL would provide more protection for mature females and reduce the chances of recruitment overfishing.
BREAK
Big Rivers
Monday, February 9
1:20 pm - 3:00 pm
Title: Recruitment Sources of Catfishes in the Middle Mississippi River
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
1:20 pm - 1:40 pm
Authors: Troy Laughlin, Gregory Whitledge, Devon Oliver, Neil Rude — Southern Illinois University
Abstract: Identifying habitats utilized by fishes for spawning, foraging, and refuge is vital for effective population management and conservation. Catfish are an important recreational species in the Mississippi River and are commercially harvested. However, contributions of main channel and tributary habitats to catfish recruitment in large rivers such as the middle Mississippi River (between St. Louis, MO and Cairo, IL) are unknown. Stable isotope and trace elemental signatures in otoliths have been useful for determining environmental history of fishes in a variety of aquatic systems, including the Mississippi River. The objectives of this study were to identify the principle natal environments for channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus and blue catfish I. furcatus in the middle Mississippi River (MMR) using otolith stable oxygen isotopic composition (d18O) and Sr:Ca. Catfish were sampled during July-October 2012-2014 using electrofishing, trawls, and hoop nets and lapilli otoliths analyzed for d18O and Sr:Ca. Water samples from the MMR and tributaries were collected seasonally from 2006-2014 to characterize site-specific signatures. Persistent differences in water d18O and Sr:Ca among the MMR and tributaries (including the upper Mississippi, Illinois, and Missouri rivers as well as smaller tributaries) were evident, enabling identification of natal environment for individual fish. Results indicated that 59% of fish sampled in 2013 originated from the Missouri River and 15% from the MMR. Additional results will provide further insight into recruitment sources of MMR catfish populations, which will be valuable for assessing stock mixing and restoring, maintaining, or enhancing important spawning and juvenile nursery habitats.
Title: Recruitment of Catfishes in the Ohio River: Using Otolith Microchemistry
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
1:40 pm - 2:00 pm
Authors: Devon Oliver, Troy Laughlin, Neil Rude, Greg Whitledge — Southern Illinois University
Abstract: U.S. commercial catch of Blue, Flathead, and Channel Catfish has increased from 2004 to 2010 (1472 to 2607 tonnes, 129 to 156 tonnes, 758 to 1643 tonnes); additionally there is an estimated 7.5 million recreational catfish anglers fishing a total of 104 million angling days with little indication of harvest biomass. However, despite the potential for overfishing of catfish stocks in large rivers and strong interest among recreational anglers for more attention to management of catfishes in Mississippi River basin states, limited data on catfish population demographics are available for many large rivers. This lack of data can result in grave oversight of inter and intra annual variations in recruitment and harvest. Harvest and recruitment fluctuations have been indicated as a cause of sampling variations between sites and years. Intra-annual variation can also result from movement of catfishes between large Midwestern Rivers and their tributaries. The objectives of this study were to identify recruitment sources and base line emigration and immigration rates of catfishes in the Illinois section of the Ohio River. Sampling for catfishes was conducted during May-October 2012-- 2014 using electrofishing, trot lines, and hoop nets. Lapilli otoliths were analyzed for d18O and Sr:Ca. Water samples from the Ohio River and tributaries were collected from 2010-2014 and were used to describe river and tributary-specific d18O and Sr:Ca signatures. Results of this study will be valuable for protecting important spawning and juvenile nursery habitats and assessing interactions among catfish stocks in the Ohio River and tributaries.
Title: Age, Growth, and Prey of Freshwater Drum (Aplodinotus Grunniens) in the Lower Missouri River
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
2:00 pm - 2:20 pm
Authors: Robert C. Shields, Ball State University; Daniel W. Beckman, Missouri State University
Abstract: Freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens) are native to wide, slow, meandering rivers of North America. Drastic habitat changes along with the expansion of metropolitan areas may have an impact on the growth rates or population structure of this species. Although many state agencies report commercial landings, the freshwater drum's status as a "rough fish" seems to exclude it from the list of species for which conservation is a concern. There has been little study of age and growth or prey preference of freshwater drum in the lower Missouri River. Although the habitats sampled are essentially connected by the continuous flow of water, I hypothesize that individual populations will vary due to the effects of urbanization or types and amounts of prey consumed. To characterize this population, freshwater drum (n=83) were collected during the months of June and July 2013, using hook and line methods. Length, weight, sex, age data, and gut contents from each specimen were obtained. Analysis of variance was used to compare physical characteristics of the fish with sample site and prey, while ANCOVA was used to examine differences in growth among sample sites. Although no significant variations in growth rates were observed, there were differences in weight, relative weight, and prey at different sites. Invasive Corbicula fluminea and Dreissena polymorpha were found in the guts of many drum and comprised all identifiable bivalve shells found in this study.
Title: A Comparison of Water Quality and Fish Habitat Associations Among Dike Structures in the Middle Mississippi River
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
2:20 pm - 2:40 pm
Authors: Molly Sobotka, Missouri Department of Conservation; Andrew Braun, Missouri Department of Conservation; Quinton Phelps, Missouri Department of Conservation and Southeast Missouri State University
Abstract: Wing dikes and other anthropogenic modifications have heavily altered riverine ecosystems. Recent efforts to reach a compromise between the needs of the river transportation industry and natural resource conservation include dike modification. Notching permits water flow through the landward portion of the dike and has been purported to provide suitable habitat for fish and other river biota while maintaining the navigation channel. However, few researchers have examined the actual effects of dike modification on water quality or fish communities. We compared water quality parameters and standardized catch per unit effort (SCPUE) for 32 fish species among un-notched dikes, notched dikes, and L-head dikes in the Middle Mississippi River sampled for the US Geological Survey's Long-Term Resource Monitoring Program. Of the ten water quality and physical habitat parameters evaluated, only slight differences in depth and velocity were detected among dike types. Furthermore, there were no differences in SCPUE for the majority of the fishes examined. While more research is needed, dike modification does not appear to benefit the fish species of the Mississippi River.
Title: Evaluating the Fish Community in a Backwater Habitat on the Middle Mississippi River
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
2:40 pm - 3:00 pm
Authors: John West, Missouri Department of Conservation; Andrew Braun, Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Abstract: Anthropogenic impacts on large river systems have had negative influences on aquatic communities. One of these impacts is the disconnection of the flood plain due to levees and channelizing structures. In the catastrophic flood of 1993, the levee near river mile 34 on the Middle Mississippi River was destroyed. This led to a large rare backwater habitat approximately 14 square kilometers in size. After the levee was repaired, an off-set dike was constructed to allow connection to the backwater habitat from the main channel during moderate to high river stages. Since the creation of this backwater, it has decreased to less than half of its original size due to aggrading and siltation. Throughout the development of this unique backwater, the Missouri Department of Conservation's Big Rivers and Wetlands Field Station has monitored the backwater fish assemblage using Long Term Resource Monitoring methods (e.g., large and mini fyke nets, large and small hoop nets, and daytime electrofishing). Thus the objective of this study was to evaluate the change in fish community structure within this backwater as it related to the decrease in size of this backwater area.
BREAK
Big Rivers
Monday, February 9
3:40 pm - 5:00 pm
Title: Comparison of Fish Community Composition and Structure Among River Reaches of the Upper Mississippi River: Determing the Effects of Lock and Dam 19 in Structuring Fish Assemblages
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
3:40 pm - 4:00 pm
Authors: Rebekah L. Haun, Cory A. Anderson, James T. Lamer — Department of Biological Sciences, Western Illinois University; James H. Larson, Brent Knights, Jon Vallazza, Brian Ickes, James Rogala — Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, United States Geological Survey
Abstract: Completed in 1913, Lock and Dam 19 (RM 364.2) separates navigation Pool 19 (74.5 km) from Pool 20 (35.2 km) and created the first artificial impoundment on the Upper Mississippi River (UMR). Lock and Dam 19 is unique among most other dams on the UMR in that it is a hydroelectric dam with a significant hydraulic head (~10 m) that created the largest impoundment (pool) on the system (46 miles as opposed to a median of 26 miles for the other pools on the mainstem). This dam likely acts as a significant barrier to upstream migration for fish. In 2013 and 2014, standardized pulse-DC electrofishing was conducted in Pool 19 (n=87/yr) and Pool 20 (n=52/yr) to assess local and system scale variation in fish community composition and structure among reaches above and below Lock and Dam 19. Sampling was consistent with standardized protocols from the Long Term Resource Monitoring Program (LTRMP) allowing for comparisons among the reaches we sampled and those sampled by the LTRMP (i.e., Pools 4, 8, 13, 26, the LaGrange Reach of the Illinois River, and the open Mississippi River). Cluster analysis and non-metric multidimensional scaling of fish community composition and structure was used to assess differences among all reaches. Preliminary results suggest Lock and Dam 19 serves as a break point for fish community structure and composition in the Upper Mississippi River. Sixty-four fish species were collected in pool 19 (n=16,041) and 50 collected from pool 20 (n=9,596) in 2013.
Title: The Importance of Shallow-Low Velocity Habitats to Juvenile Fish in the Middle Mississippi River
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
4:00 pm - 4:20 pm
Authors: Seth A. Love, Quinton E. Phelps — Missouri Department of Conservation & Southeast Missouri State University; Sara J. Tripp, David P. Herzog — Missouri Department of Conservation
Abstract: Habitat management is a crucial aspect of fisheries management. Without knowledge of habitat use, fisheries scientists are unable to effectively make habitat manipulation recommendations. This becomes especially prominent when trying to conserve sportfish and protect threatened and endangered species. To determine juvenile fish and their habitat associations in the Middle Mississippi River (MMR), we analyzed mini-trawl catch data of ten juvenile fish species: Blue Catfish (Ictalurus furcatus), Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), Freckled Madtom (Noturus nocturnus), Stonecat (Noturus flavus), Channel Shiner (Notropis wickliffi), Freshwater Drum (Aplodinotus grunniens), American Paddlefish (Polyodon spathula), Pallid Sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus), Shovelnose Sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus platorynchus), and Sicklefin Chub (Macrhybopsis meeki). The data set contained 2,500 mini-trawl sampling efforts conducted between 2002 and 2013, resulting in the capture of 30,000 fishes. Species catch per unit effort (CPUE) was evaluated by macrohabitat (i.e., large scale river features) and mesohabitat (i.e., velocity, depth, and substrate). Overall, these data suggest that juvenile fish species are more prevalent in off-channel locations in association with shallower depths (< 3 m) and slower velocities (<0.1 m/s). Ultimately the information garnered during this evaluation should be incorporated when considering habitat modifications, especially those modifications that impact the availability of shallow-low velocity habitats.
Title: American Eel Population Characteristics in the Mississippi River
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
4:20 pm - 4:40 pm
Authors: Andrew T. Bueltmann, Quinton E. Phelps — Southeast Missouri State University & Missouri Department of Conservation
Abstract: American eel populations are declining and have recently become a species of interest by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to list as a threatened species. However, the American eel population in the largest inland lotic waterway in North America (Mississippi River) has received little attention despite the apparent relevance. Because of the lack of information on the Mississippi, we evaluated trends in relative abundance and habitats occupied by American eel using long-term data collected on the Mississippi River (i.e., Upper Mississippi River Restoration – Environmental Management Program). During the 18-year study, a total of 92 American eels were collected throughout the Upper Mississippi River (Lake City, Minnesota downstream to Cape Girardeau, Missouri) with a relatively fewer individuals captured as of recent. Across macrohabitats, unstructured and structured (i.e., diked) main channel borders had the greatest number of American eels captured; however, eels were infrequently captured in impounded habitats. In terms of mesohabitat use, most American eels were captured in areas characterized by the shallowest waters, rock substrates, and low velocities. We believe the information provided in this study will promote American eel conservation in the Mississippi River.
Title: Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio) Population Dynamics in the Upper Mississippi River
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
4:40 pm - 5:00 pm
Authors: Michael C. Wolf, Quinton E. Phelps — Missouri Department of Conservation & Southeast Missouri State University
Abstract: Invasive species can often develop into established populations in novel environments. Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio), an invasive fish in North America, represent the majority of the relative biomass throughout the Upper Mississippi River. LTRM (Long Term Resource Monitoring program) has been studying the fish communities of the Mississippi River Basin for over twenty years at six study reaches (pool 4; Lake City, MN, pool 8; LaCrosse, WI, pool 13; Bellevue, IA, pool 26; Alton, IL, La Grange pool of the Illinois River; Havana, IL and the open river reach; Cape Girardeau, MO). The goal of this project is to evaluate the Common Carp populations at the six study reaches and determine the dynamic rate functions (recruitment, growth and mortality). Adult Common Carp were collected from each reach as a part of the LTRM Electrofishing sampling in the summer of 2013 and 2014. After the partial data collection clear differences were identified between the size structure (PSD-P ฑ 95% CI) of Pool 26 (34.81 ฑ 8.04, n=135) and La Grange (29.4 ฑ 7.95, n=126) reaches and the Open River (77.55 ฑ 6.75, n=147), Pool 13 (92.21 ฑ 4.23, n=155), Pool 8 (95.24 ฑ 6.44, n=42) and Pool 4 (92.45 ฑ 4.11, n=159) reaches. Being such a long lived (adult Common Carp ages ranged from 3-40 in the Open River reach and sizes throughout the river ranged from 285-855mm) and abundant species (relative biomass), a high recruitment year could have detrimental impacts to the entire ecosystem for an extended period of time.
Title: Evidence of Black Carp Establishment in the Middle Mississippi River
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
5:00 pm - 5:20 pm
Authors: Greg Whitledge, Southern Illinois University; Duane Chapman, US Geological Survey, Columbia Environmental Research Center; Jill Jenkins, US Geological Survey, National Wetlands Research Center; Jennifer Bailey, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Whitney Genetics Laboratory; Diane Nicks, US Geological Survey, Columbia Environmental Research Center
Abstract: Black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus) is a large, molluscivorous species introduced to the U.S. primarily for biological control of aquaculture pond snails and is listed as an injurious species under the Lacey Act due to its potential threat to endangered riverine mollusks. The increasing frequency of black carp captures from the middle and lower Mississippi River and tributaries has raised concerns that this species may become established in the wild. However, reproduction and recruitment of black carp in U.S. rivers have not been documented. We used otolith microchemistry and stable isotope analyses, determined ploidy, and estimated ages of black carp collected from the Mississippi River and tributaries between 2011 and 2014 to assess the likelihood of natural reproduction. Eighteen of 19 individuals tested were diploid. Fish ranged in size from 445 to 1380 mm and in weight from 1.1 to 34.5 kg. Fish as young as 2 years old were captured, and fish as young as 3 years old were sexually mature. Otolith core Sr:Ca, ?18O, and ?13C of diploid fish were consistent with Mississippi River signatures, whereas the triploid individual had an otolith core isotopic composition indicative of pond origin. Our results strongly suggest that black carp have become established in the middle and lower Mississippi River. Additional study is needed to monitor black carp range, assess the extent of natural reproduction and potential for population growth, and evaluate ecological impacts.
Symposium- Managing Midwestern Reservoirs: Connecting Watersheds and Anglers with their Fisheries
Monday, February 9
10:40 am - 12:00 pm
Title: Development of a Prioritization Method for Lake and Reservoir Renovations in Iowa
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
10:40 am - 11:00 am
Authors: Rebecca M. Krogman, Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Abstract: Thousands of lakes, reservoirs and ponds speckle the Iowa landscape, including 139 which are considered Significant Publically-Owned Lakes (SPOLs) and qualify for inclusion in the Iowa Department of Natural Resources' Lake Restoration Program (LRP). The LRP invests in projects with multiple benefits, such as improved water quality and increased public use, while taking into account the feasibility of restoration. Dedicated funding for the program has enabled substantial progress in completing projects and developing new partnerships. Various communities have petitioned for their local lake or reservoir to be added to the list, and several are moving forward into the planning phase. With widespread public support and interest, the LRP is rapidly reaching a point at which science-based decision-making is necessary to choose amongst potential projects fairly and transparently. A wide range of data resources are available for development of a prioritization method for Iowa lakes and reservoirs, including data from over a decade of lake monitoring, revised lake bathymetry, recently updated LiDAR and land cover, and recently updated recreational use and visitation. These datasets will be assessed for their utility and incorporated into a model which ranks SPOLs based on ecological status, project feasibility, and potential for public benefit. Given the importance of prudent investment of agency resources, development of a prioritization method is essential for strategic planning and the future of the LRP.
Title: Okay, So Your Reservoir's Impaired. Now What?
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
11:00 am - 11:20 am
Authors: Mark T. Porath, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Abstract: Reservoirs are key features within the landscape, serving an important role and providing numerous benefits. Many reservoirs across the Midwest are now exceeding the midpoint of their expected lifespan and are experiencing numerous impairments to water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, and recreational capacity even though they are still functioning to provide their authorized purpose (e.g. flood control, irrigation, hydro generation). Nebraska faces this question and in 1997 established an Aquatic Habitat Stamp for licensed anglers to provide a funding mechanism by which rehabilitation efforts could be realized. A total of 90 projects have been completed with a price tag of over $53,000 since it's establishment, helping refine the techniques needed to turn back the clock on our aging reservoirs.
Title: A Gizzard Shad Induced Decline in Sport Fishing Opportunities in a 624-acre Impoundment in Southern Indiana
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
11:20 am - 11:40 am
Authors: Debra A. King, David S. Kittaka — Indiana DNR
Abstract: West Boggs Creek Lake is a 624-acre impoundment managed by the Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife for a self-sustaining balanced largemouth bass, bluegill, redear, and black crappie fishery. Channel catfish are stocked biannually. In 2003, age-1 and age-2 gizzard shad were discovered in the lake. We evaluated the fisheries response to the infestation annually from 2000 to 2010 and conducted angler creel surveys in 2004 and 2010. Overall, we found a decline in sport fishing opportunities and angler satisfaction. The bluegill response was immediate with a marked increase in catch-per-effort data after the first year with progressive stunting in growth. Largemouth bass catch-per-effort data varied annually, generally declining with declining recruitment. Concurrently, annual winter drawdowns were implemented in an attempt to manage the shad numbers, delaying the need for a fishery renovation. The winter drawdowns were overall ineffective primarily because the weather conditions needed to cause a significant shad kill were not met every year. A complete fishery renovation was scheduled for 2014.
Title: The Planning of a Total Lake Renovation at West Boggs Lake in Southwest Indiana
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
11:40 am - 12:00 pm
Authors: David S. Kittaka, Fish management biologist, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Debra A. King, Assistant fish management biologist, Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Abstract: In October of 2014, West Boggs Creek Lake; a 624 acre (253 hectare) impoundment in southwest Indiana was completely renovated using a partial drawdown and rotenone. Because gizzard shad reintroduction from the watershed was a threat, all private ponds within the watershed were evaluated for gizzard shad and carp presence and concurrently during the lake renovation; streams within the watershed were also treated with rotenone. Based on multiple year standardized survey results and creel surveys we recommended that a renovation was needed to address the unbalanced fishery (i.e., dominated with gizzard shad and common carp). While Indiana DNR manages the fishery, a large portion of the shoreline is developed with residential housing and campgrounds. A multiple year process was begun in 2012 with public meetings and press releases to engage and inform the general public and property owners about the process. Opposition from bass tournament anglers was voiced and mitigated through largemouth bass salvage tournaments and through later salvage efforts by fishery managers. Opposition was also voiced by locals concerned with environmental and health risks of using rotenone. Not only do the technical aspects of a lake renovation take detailed planning, but managers should anticipate social conflicts that may side track and or cancel a project.
BREAK
Symposium- Managing Midwestern Reservoirs: Connecting Watersheds and Anglers with their Fisheries
Monday, February 9
1:20 pm - 3:00 pm
Title: Age and Growth of Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) in Indiana Reservoirs
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
1:20 pm - 1:40 pm
Authors: Anna Settineri, Dr. Thomas Lauer — Ball State University
Abstract: Eagle Creek, Monroe, Patoka, Brookville, Cagles Mill, and Cecil M. Harden are all popular reservoirs with the fisheries managed by the IDNR and/or the USACE. The reservoirs range from 546 to 4,343 hectares and were primarily build for water supply and flood control. Channel Catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, are a valuable part of these fisheries, but unfortunately scant information is known about their current status. Our objectives for this fish were 1. determine age and growth 2. compare population demographics such as CPUE, length frequency distributions, and age frequency distributions among reservoirs, and 3. evaluate whether abiotic factors influence growth in each of the six bodies of water. A total of 1,225 fish was collected. Fish were aged using the left pectoral spine, with fish up to age-10 found. Growth population models were constructed using several biotic and abiotic factors and computed using Bayesian statistics. Associations were found between abiotic factors and Channel Catfish populations.
Title: Monroe Reservoir Walleye Yield-Per-Recruit Modeling
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
1:40 pm - 2:00 pm
Authors: Jason Doll, Ball State University; Thomas Lauer, Ball State University; Sandra Clark-Kolaks, Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Abstract: Walleye Sander vitreum are the most preferred stocked species in Indiana. Considering their popularity, informative models are needed to manage this species, particularly those models predicting the expected abundance as a function of various harvest policies. Thus, the objectives of this study were to use a Beverton-Holt yield-per-recruit model to predict future walleye yield based on mortality, growth, and variable management scenarios. Walleye were sampled from Monroe Reservoir using shoreline electrofishing and experimental gill nets between 1994 and 2011. A hierarchical catch curve model was used to estimate mortality parameters for each year class, gear, and overall. Similarly, a hierarchical nonlinear model was used to estimate parameters of the von Bertalanffy growth model for each year, gear type, and overall. A nonlinear model was also fit to length and weight data to estimate regression coefficients. A range of values for instantaneous natural mortality and conditional mortality were estimated using four separate methods. Yield was predicted based on three different minimum length limits (365, 406, and 458 mm). All model parameters were estimated using Bayesian inference to incorporate multiple levels of uncertainty into one parsimonious model. Under low exploitation yield decreased with increasing minimum length limits. However, under moderate to high exploitation yield was similar for 365 and 406 mm length limits. The results will be used to help future management directions of walleye in Monroe Reservoir.
Title: Using Otolith Microchemistry to Advance Walleye Management in Missouri River Reservoirs
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
2:00 pm - 2:20 pm
Authors: Andrew K. Carlson*, South Dakota State University; Mark J. Fincel, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks; Christopher M. Longhenry, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks; Brian D. S. Graeb, South Dakota State University
Abstract: Fish movement in reservoirs has important management implications but can be difficult to quantify during disturbances. In response to a catastrophic flood in 2011, we examined natal origins, movement, and entrainment of walleye (Sander vitreus) in four Missouri River reservoirs in North and South Dakota using otolith microchemistry. Otolith Sr:Ca and Ba:Ca signatures of juvenile and adult walleye varied in accordance with spatial variability in water chemistry, permitting site assignment with high accuracy (= 79%). The Moreau River and Cannonball River in upper Lake Oahe were important natal tributaries for downstream walleye populations. Walleye movement within and among Missouri River reservoirs was dominated by downstream passage and site residency before, during, and after the flood; upstream movement within reservoirs was relatively uncommon. Overall, 83% of adult walleyes were collected in the reservoir in which they hatched, whereas 17% were entrained. Entrainment increased progressively moving downstream from Lake Sharpe (18.87%) to Lake Francis Case (24.39%) to Lewis & Clark Lake (34.15%). The average entrainment rate during non-flood years was 9% and increased to 17% during the flood. Overall, otolith microchemistry revealed connectivity of walleye populations and may facilitate riverscape management in Missouri River reservoirs.
Title: Movements and Habitat Selection of Age-1 Muskellunge in Eagle Creek Reservoir
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
2:20 pm - 2:40 pm
Authors: Nicholas W. Haunert, Thomas E. Lauer — Ball State University
Abstract: Muskellunge YOY were stocked in Eagle Creek Reservoir, in the Fall of 2011, 2012, and 2013 in an effort to provide a fishery unique to Central Indiana. However, some questions linger as to the efficacy of these stocked fish and their eventual fate. Therefore, the objective of this study was to define movements and habitat selection of these fish in order to better manage the fishery. In March 2014, 40 age-1 muskellunge provided by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources were implanted with radio transmitters and released. Tracking took place once a week from March through November of 2014. When found, fish location and habitat metrics were noted. The major inlet and outlet of the reservoir were monitored in the fall in order to track any individuals that had moved out of the reservoir. Most muskellunge were found near submerged and floating logs in 0.3 to 0.9 meters of water in the northern half of the reservoir, with most fish showing little movement and a small home range. Not all fish were tracked during the entire study period. During several large storm events, water levels were raised in the reservoir and created high discharge rates, which we believe flushed some of the muskellunge downstream. Further, some fish were tracked upstream of the reservoir in Eagle Creek, and one individual was found in a nearby gravel pit. It is also possible that the large number of predatory birds may have preyed upon the fish. By November, 27 fish could not be located or were known dead.
Title: Distribution Patterns of Individual Fish Predators (Blue Catfish) in a Midwestern Reservoir
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
2:40 pm - 3:00 pm
Authors: Kayla M. Gerber, Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Martha E. Mather, USGS; Joseph M. Smith, University of Washington; Zachary J. Peterson, Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Abstract: Movement can dramatically change the outcome of ecological interactions and the effectiveness of fisheries management. To integrate consequences of mobility into existing paradigms, researchers and managers first need to know the patterns of distribution and movement within fish populations. Second, researchers and managers need to identify if discrete groupings (i.e. individuals behave and move differently) of fish exist within a population. To address these information gaps, from June through November, 2012-2013 we tracked 123 acoustically tagged (VEMCO V9-V13) blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus, mean = 505.3 mm, SD = 136.7, range = 300-1090 mm TL) in Milford Reservoir, KS. Across the five months, 85.4-100.0% of the tagged fish were detected at least once a month by an array of 20 stationary receivers (VR2W). No blue catfish left the reservoir system through the dam or the river above the reservoir. Our tagged fish were not evenly distributed throughout the reservoir. Individual fish behaved differently and a non-hierarchical cluster analysis was used to group those fish. Discrete groupings of individual fish were identified using total residence time and residence time per month. The resultant groupings of fish had consistent and distinct ecological associations based on reservoir locations and season specific distributions. As detailed telemetry data sets accumulate in fish ecology, the need to quantify discrete groups of individual fish and assign ecological associations will become more important. Insights from our research can provide a framework for quantifying variation in the distribution and movement of mobile predators of other species in other ecosystems.
BREAK
Symposium- Managing Midwestern Reservoirs: Connecting Watersheds and Anglers with their Fisheries
Monday, February 9
3:40 pm - 5:00 pm
Title: Using the Land Mosaic Concept to Test How Habitat Heterogeneity Alters Distribution of Young of Year Largemouth Bass in a Great Plains Reservoir
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
3:40 pm - 4:00 pm
Authors: Robert L. Mapes, Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Division of Biology, Kansas State University; Martha E. Mather US Geological Survey, Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Division of Biology, Kansas State University
Abstract: Recruitment of fish varies widely across systems and distribution of age-0 fish varies dramatically within systems. Differences in habitat type, amount, and arrangement may contribute to this spatial variation. Landscape approaches are routinely used to study patterns of terrestrial populations and communities, but have not been commonly applied to aquatic systems. Type, size, location, and complexity of the habitat may alter the suite of resources available to age-0 fish. Consequently, landscape characteristics may influence habitat-specific size and numbers through time. To test these ideas, we categorized littoral habitat as vegetation, sandy beach, or rock and mapped habitat characteristics in nine ~100 m sample sites at Hillsdale Reservoir, Kansas. Habitats included six patches of vegetation, four patches of sand, and two patches of rock of varying sizes and configuration. Combinations of habitats formed different mosaics; vegetation only, sandy beach only, vegetation/beach, and beach/rock. We also sampled age-0 largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) within these habitats using a 33 m seine net tow, sampled biweekly, from June through mid-October, 2014. Overall, more age-0 largemouth bass were caught in vegetation (CPUE 8.47 vegetation, 3.47 other habitats). More age-0 largemouth bass per standard seine tow were caught in the largest vegetation patch (CPUE 13.66). Habitat mosaics that included vegetated patches had more age-0 largemouth bass than other habitat combinations. Consequently, quantifying habitat type, size, and complexity can provide additional tools to investigate within and across system variability. With the resulting insights, managers may be able to make more effective habitat restoration and stocking decisions.
Title: The Connections Remain the Same: Watershed Land Cover Shapes Reservoir Productivity
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
4:00 pm - 4:20 pm
Authors: Joseph D. Conroy, Inland Fisheries Research Unit, Division of Wildlife, Ohio Department of Natural Resources; Lesley B. Knoll, Lacawac Sanctuary; Maria J. Gonzalez, Department of Zoology, Miami University; Michael J. Vanni, Department of Zoology, Miami University
Abstract: Many external forces shape within-reservoir processes. Of these external factors, watershed land cover and use often plays a particularly important role by forcing in-reservoir productivity which, in turn, affects sportfish recruitment. Here, we revisit analyses conducted initially in the early 2000s and investigate how in-reservoir productivity metrics correlate with watershed land cover, including recent land cover changes, for a set (n = 12) of Ohio reservoirs. Watershed land cover patterns (from the recently completed 2011 National Land Cover Dataset) vary widely in this group of reservoirs. Since the mid-1990s, urban land cover has increased 6.8% whereas agricultural land cover has decreased 8.8%. Presently, forested land cover ranges 12.4–83.0% (min–max) and agricultural land cover ranges 6.7–80.8%. Correspondingly, productivity metrics (2013 summer reservoir means) also vary: Secchi transparency (SD) ranges 56–162 cm, total phosphorus concentration (TP) ranges 22.0–165.0 micrograms/L, and chlorophyll a (Chl) concentration ranges 6.2–56.6 micrograms/L. Watershed land cover patterns continue to predict in-reservoir productivity. For example, recent reservoir summer grand mean (mean over all summer samples in 2012 and 2013) SD decreases 41% whereas TP and Chl increase 273% and 249%, respectively, over the interquartile range of row crop agriculture (17.1-59.6%) in the watershed. Using readily-accessible land cover data to better understand reservoir productivity and then leveraging this knowledge to better manage sportfish populations remains an opportunity throughout the Midwest.
Great Lakes
Tuesday, February 10
10:40 am - 12:00 pm
Title: Temporal Patterns of Littoral Fish Populations in a Lake Michigan Drowned River Mouth
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
10:40 am - 11:00 am
Authors: Travis J. Ellens, Carl R. Ruetz III — Grand Valley State University: Annis Water Resources Institute
Abstract: Muskegon Lake is a protected drowned river mouth that links the Muskegon River to Lake Michigan. Drowned river mouths are ecologically important transitional habitats between rivers and large lakes. Since 2003, we sampled fish in littoral areas using fyke nets at four sites during spring, summer, and fall to better understand seasonal and annual trends in fish populations. Three fyke nets were fished overnight at each site. In total, we captured 17,988 fish comprising 54 fish species. The 12 most abundant species in our catch (in descending order) were yellow perch (Perca flavescens), round goby (Neogobius melanostomus), bluntnose minnow (Pimephales notatus), largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus), rock bass (Ambloplites rupestris), bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), mimic shiner (Notropis volucellus), banded killifish (Fundulus diaphanous), brook silverside (Labidesthes sicculus), gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum), and spottail shiner (Notropis hudsonius), which constituted 94.9% of the total catch. Four of these species (gizzard shad, banded killifish, brook silverside, and mimic shiner) were abundant in 1-2 years of the time series and relatively infrequently observed during the other years, whereas the other prevalent species were more consistently observed in the catch. The temporal patterns in catch that we observed for these species provide valuable insight into the dynamics of littoral fish populations in drowned river mouths of Lake Michigan.
Title: Resource Subsidies for Young Fish in Southern Lake Michigan Rivermouths
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
11:00 am - 11:20 am
Authors: Sarah R. Stein, Samuel Guffey — Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources; Alan Wilson, Auburn University, School of Fisheries; Cary Troy, Purdue University Department of Civil Engineering, Tomas Hook, Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources
Abstract: Rivermouths and river plumes are heterogeneous habitats where riverine waters and materials integrate with oceanic, estuarine, and lacustrine systems. In these confluences, bidirectional transfer of materials between a river and lake can create spatially complex foodwebs, where consumers in the receiving body are subsidized by resources from the tributary and vice versa. In southern Lake Michigan, tributaries deliver seasonally warmer, more productive water into the relatively cool, oligotrophic lake. These physically and biologically distinct areas may enhance growth and survival of young fish and thereby serve as an important nursery habitat. Despite burgeoning interest in the nearshore Lake Michigan foodweb, the energy dynamics of rivermouths and plumes require further investigation. To evaluate the relative importance of lake and river contributions for young fish in three southern Lake Michigan rivermouths, during 2011 and 2012, we characterized their thermal environments, light availability, and lower trophic levels. Furthermore, we collected juvenile yellow perch, round goby, and alewife, which were analyzed for gut contents and stable isotopes d13C, d15N, d2H, and d18O of tissue and otoliths. To further elucidate rivermouth energy pathways, we quantified fatty acid signatures of fish tissue and prey. Our results demonstrate spatial and temporal heterogeneity in physical and lower trophic level patterns within rivermouths. Moreover, the characterization of rivermouth food webs indicates that young fish are utilizing a variety of tributary and nearshore lake resources. Our investigation likely has broader implications for the recruitment of these ecologically and economically important fishes throughout the Laurentian Great Lakes.
Title: Patterns in the Abundance and Growth of Nearshore Fishes in Southwest Lake Michigan
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
11:20 am - 11:40 am
Authors: William L. Stacy, Sara M. Creque, David H. Wahl, Sergiusz J. Czesny — Illinois Natural History Survey
Abstract: The nearshore fish community in Lake Michigan has been heavily altered by the presence of invasive species, having ramifications for the functioning of the entire lake ecosystem. Variation in fish community composition, growth, diet, and abundance in this zone can be important for determining the role of invasive species in a dynamic food web as well as the recruitment of economically valuable sport fish. We sought to understand the factors influencing spatial diversity in growth and abundance of nearshore fishes by sampling at three distinct locations within the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan. Using a model selection approach we evaluated the importance of various spatiotemporal, abiotic, and biotic variables for catch rates and size-at-age of yellow perch and round goby, two of the most common nearshore fish species in southwest Lake Michigan. Yellow perch age-0 and age-1 abundance both showed annual variation, while age-0 yellow perch showed a negative relationship with round goby abundance. Round goby growth and abundance and yellow perch growth and condition all showed spatial variation, possibly responding to different benthic habitat types or thermal regimes. While the Laurentian Great Lakes are large systems that can show regional variation based on habitat and climate diversity, we have shown that even at a more localized scale the fish community may fluctuate significantly based on various biotic and abiotic conditions.
Title: Habitat Restoration in Maumee Bay: Effect of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation on Juvenile Fish Community Under Turbid Conditions
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
11:40 am - 12:00 pm
Authors: Jacob Miller*, Masters Student, Bowling Green State University; Dr. Jeff Miner, PI, Bowling Green State University; Dr. Dan Wiegmann, Professor, Bowling Green State University; Dr. Patrick Kocovsky, USGS Great Lakes Science Center
Abstract: Many fishes in Lake Erie rely on tributaries, bays, and wetlands as spawning/nursery habitat for early life stages. Whereas multiple complex abiotic and biotic factors can affect mortality, especially during these early life stages, in many of the Lake Erie nearshore habitats around rivers, the influence of human activity (e.g., agricultural runoff, shipping/dredging, and shoreline development) has altered these habitats. In the Maumee River/Bay Area of Concern (AOC), a dominant habitat-altering abiotic factor is the turbidity and sedimentation from river discharge plumes. As each of the Great Lakes Areas of Concern instigate restoration practices to move toward delisting, it is important to be able to predict the effect of restoration on beneficial use impairments. Here we conduct a study to determine the fish community changes in Maumee Bay associated with decreasing suspended sediments and resulting increases in submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV). Using north Maumee Bay that has remnant SAV (primarily Vallisneria americana and Potemageton spp.), we mapped the bay (~400 ha) using side-scan sonar, and interpreted data into GIS maps, coupled with SCUBA ground-truthing. Then, we conducted trawling surveys (using a neuston net) in each habitat type to quantify juvenile fish communities. Species richness increased by 100% and the data will be interpreted as changes in IBI scores in restoration and delisting activities. These SAV data also can be used as a baseline against which to compare SAV community changes and abundance, if the newly present diploid grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella, an herbivore) enters this region and impacts SAV.
BREAK
Great Lakes
Tuesday, February 10
1:20 pm - 3:00 pm
Title: Using Macroinvertebrate Communities to Determine Trends in the Improvement of Water Quality in the Grand Calumet River Area of Concern, Indiana
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
1:20 pm - 1:40 pm
Authors: Paul D. McMurray, Jr., James R. Stahl — Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Office of Water Quality, Watershed Assessment and Planning Branch; Dr. James R. Smith, Indiana Department of Environmental Management (retired), Office of Legal Counsel/National Resource Damage Assessment; Anne L. Kominowski, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Office of Legal Counsel/National Resource Damage Assessment; Daniel Sparks, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological Services Field Offices in the Upper Midwest
Abstract: More than 150 years of industrial and chemical manufacturing, channelization and urbanization have resulted in extensive degradation of the Grand Calumet River (GCR) basin, a small (175 km2) watershed in northwest Indiana flowing into southern Lake Michigan and the Illinois River Basin. The GCR basin has been designated as a Great Lakes Area of Concern (AOC) requiring a Remedial Action Plan to improve 12 current beneficial use impairments (BUIs). The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) conducted an intensive survey in 2013 collecting fish and macroinvertebrate communities, fish and sediment contaminants, sediment toxicity data, in-situ water chemistry and habitat information at 20 locations in the GCR AOC. Macroinvertebrate community results from this sampling will be presented in the context of removal of relative BUIs #3 (Degradation of fish and wildlife resources) and #6 (Degradation of benthos) and removal of the GCR from the Indiana 303(d) list for Impaired Biotic Communities. Comparison of the current macroinvertebrate community in the GCR with results from more than 30 previous years of sampling will also be discussed with regards to the effectiveness of recent sediment removal and capping projects in improving the condition of streams in the GCR AOC.
Title: Bioassessment of the St. Marys River Little Rapids Area (MI) Pre-Restoration
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
1:40 pm - 2:00 pm
Authors: Nathan T. Sleight, Zachery J. Berry, Dr. Ashley H. Moerke — Department of Biological Sciences, Lake Superior State University
Abstract: The St. Marys River, a Great Lakes Area of Concern, suffers from historical losses of rapids habitat and degradation of fish and macroinvertebrate communities. In an attempt to reverse historical impairments, a proposed restoration of the Little Rapids area, located next to Sugar Island, is scheduled for the spring of 2015. Flow will be restored by replacing a causeway with larger bottomless culverts spanning 600'. The restoration goals are to restore higher current velocities and increase fish habitat and macroinvertebrate diversity. The objective of this study was to collect baseline data on fish and macroinvertebrate communities. From May 2013 - July 2014 sampling of larval, juvenile, and adult fishes, as well as macroinvertebrates, was conducted in the Little Rapids and Main Rapids (2013 only). Sampling revealed a highly diverse assemblage of fish species, but 98% of species caught were fish common in lentic systems and there was a lack of a sport fish present. Natural reproduction of salmonids was observed, but it was five times less in the Little Rapids than what was observed in the Main Rapids. The macroinvertebrate community had low diversity and indicated poor to moderate water quality. Therefore, the restoration of flow in the Little Rapids area is expected to increase sport fish populations and macroinvertebrate diversity, contributing to the long-term goal of delisting the St. Marys River as an Area of Concern.
Title: Feeding Habits and Distribution of Muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) in Lake St. Clair
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
2:00 pm - 2:20 pm
Authors: Ellen Spooner*, James Diana — School of Natural Resources, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Abstract: Lake St. Clair is world renowned for its recreational muskellunge fishery. Muskellunge (muskies) draw fishermen in because of their voracious fight when being reeled in, their large size and sharp teeth. Muskies are found throughout some of the Great Lakes and in many other inland lakes but none have such a prevalent population as Lake St. Clair. Lake St. Clair is relatively shallow compared to the other Great Lakes but much larger than many of the inland lakes. The question is then what factors allow Lake St. Clair to have such a large population of muskies. Are prey resources and foraging the limiting factor, or habitat characteristics or physical availability of space due to migration and home range behavior of muskies? To determine this we initiated studies in 2014 to evaluate prey consumption and habitat selection. Food habits were determined by gastric lavage, habitat selection by modeling capture points for musky compared to bathymetry and aquatic plant vegetation in the lake and we hope to evaluate movement using telemetry in 2015, as well as continuing the other components of the study. Preliminary results show a diet composition of white suckers, drums, catfish and bass. We hypothesize that musky select habitat near steep drop offs with dense aquatic vegetation and movement will change seasonally from deeper water in summer to shallower water in fall.
Title: Anticipating Possible Effects of Angler Effort Levels, Winter Spearing, and Climate Change on Lake St. Clair Muskellunge: A Modeling Approach
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
2:20 pm - 2:40 pm
Authors: Jason B Smith, Mary Tate Bremigan, Daniel Hayes — Michigan State University
Abstract: The current Lake St. Clair Great Lakes muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) (LSCM) fishery 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 potential risks to the quality of this fishery. We developed an age-structured equilibrium yield model to predict the likely effects of increased angling effort, establishment of a winter spearing season, or warming temperatures on open-water catch rates of three size classes of LSCM (all fish, legal fish > 42", trophy fish > 50"). Our modeling indicated that the current high rate of voluntary release largely buffered catch rates of all size classes of LSCM from substantial negative effects due to increased fishing effort. Similarly, our simulation of a winter spearing fishery indicated that only high levels of spearing effort and harvest would negatively affect open -water catch rates to a degree that would be objectionable to anglers. However, the modeled catch rates of legal and trophy fish were highly sensitive to modeled reductions in growth due to warming climate. While our model predicts the LSCM fishery to be fairly insensitive to even substantial changes in angling effort and spearing harvest, possible effects of warming, which are difficult for fisheries managers to mitigate, could be significant.
Title: Quantifying Emigration Patterns of Stocked Steelhead Trout Smolts
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
2:40 pm - 3:00 pm
Authors: Richard Budnik, Bowling Green State University; Jeffrey Miner, Bowling Green State University; Chuck Murray, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
Abstract: Previous studies on steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) smolt emigration have relied on extensive field sampling, weirs, or fish tagging. These methods can often be costly, labor intensive, ineffective during extreme conditions, or temporally vague. Dual-frequency identification sonar (DIDSON) uses sound to produce near-video quality images in real time and can be used to passively monitor fish. In order to evaluate behavior after stocking we implemented a DIDSON near the mouth of Trout Run, Pennsylvania shortly after 46,000 steelhead trout smolts were stocked. Footage was recorded for 39 consecutive days (April 3-May 12, 2014) and total counts were determined every hour. Fish lengths were estimated using the DIDSON fish measuring tool. DIDSON counts showed that the number of emigrants increased with water temperature while fish length, stream discharge, and date had no effect on emigration. DIDSON has mostly been used to study large salmonids as they make upstream spawning runs but we conclude that it can be an effective tool for measuring the migration of small fish as well. Population estimation with electroshocking was performed after the DIDSON sampling period and revealed that 13% of the steelhead trout smolts stocked remained in Trout Run even into June, > 2 months after stocking.
BREAK
Great Lakes
Tuesday, February 10
3:40 pm - 5:00 pm
Title: If it's There, They'll Find It: An Update on Lake Trout Populations in Southern Lake Michigan
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
3:40 pm - 4:00 pm
Authors: Kristen A. Patterson, Illinois Natural History Survey; Steve R. Robillard, Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Jeffrey A. Stein, Illinois Natural History Survey
Abstract: Lake Michigan Lake Trout populations collapsed in the 1950s and a variety of stocking strategies have been implemented to facilitate reestablishment. Since 1981, all Lake Trout stocked at Julian's Reef in the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan have been marked with either a fin clip or marked with an adipose fin clip and given a coded-wire tag. To evaluate the development of Lake Trout spawning aggregations we monitored the spawning population at Julian's Reef with annual (1998-2013) gill net surveys in October-November and compared this to the success of another nearby location, Waukegan Reef, where stocking does not occur and the potentially for recreational exploitation may be higher. The density of spawning Lake Trout was similar between the sites, but on average declining at both sites from 102 fish•304 m net-1 in 1998 to 71 fish•304 m net-1 in 2013. The proportion of unmarked fish has increased exponentially, and in 2012 and 2013 nearly 50% of Lake Trout had no fin clips, possibly an indication of natural reproduction. Tag return data from 1998-2008 indicated that a greater proportion of fish sampled on both reefs were stocked outside of southern Lake Michigan (90-680 km away), and those fish were significantly older (t = 32.3, p < 0.01) than fish stocked on Julian's reef. Trends in age, origin, abundance and location of fish congregating offer valuable insight into the populations occupying these reef complexes and should be considered in a lake wide monitoring context by Lake Michigan managers.
Title: Detection of Natural Reproduction and Successful Recruitment of Lake Trout in Southern Lake Michigan Using Stable Isotope Analysis
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
4:00 pm - 4:20 pm
Authors: Dr. Jeffrey A. Stein, Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois; Sean Landsman, University of Prince Edward Island; Dr. Greg Whitledge, Southern Illinois University
Abstract: Overfishing and sea lamprey mortality drove Lake Michigan Lake Trout populations to near collapse in the mid-20th century. In response, a massive stocking program began in 1965 with the ultimate goal of increasing spawner abundance and restoring Lake Trout populations. In 2009, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources found that nearly 20% of adult Lake Trout captured in their fall spawning survey lacked fin clips that normally indicate a hatchery-reared fish, and in 2012 and 2013 nearly 50% of all captured adult Lake Trout were unmarked. Stable isotope signatures were determined using otolith core material, which are indicative of the location of hatching and early life, and using otolith edge material, which is indicative of locations recently occupied by the fish. Signatures from these two regions of the otolith enable researchers to determine the origin of unmarked fish by comparing otolith cores of unmarked adults with otolith cores of recently produced hatchery yearlings and otolith edge material of adults captured in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. A comparison of otolith core stable isotope signatures for unmarked adult Lake Trout collected from Julian's Reef in 2012 and 2013 show that those adults had stable isotope signatures consistent with the open lake signatures found in otolith edge material of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron fish, and distinct from the hatchery signature found in the core of hatchery-reared juveniles. These data suggest natural recruitment to the adult life stage, a first in almost 50 years of Lake Trout restoration efforts in Lake Michigan.
Title: Determining Sportfish Loss Resulting from Double-crested Cormorants in Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
4:20 pm - 4:40 pm
Authors: Robin L. DeBruyne, U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center, Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit, Michigan State University; Peter Butcho, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; David Fielder, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Division; Edward F. Roseman, U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center
Abstract: Stakeholders and fisheries managers expressed concern that double-crested cormorant predation in Saginaw Bay may be a factor in the recent low yellow perch abundance. Stakeholders have requested cormorant control measures, but managers requested information on the magnitude of cormorant predation before committing resources to cormorant management. Therefore, the objective of this study was to quantify cormorant diets from two nesting colonies in Saginaw Bay during April-September in 2013 and 2014, prior to any cormorant management actions. Cormorants (n=691) were collected when returning to colonies after foraging. Stomachs were removed and preserved in the field. Diet items were identified, enumerated, and measured (n=23,373). Round goby had the highest frequency of occurrence and consumption by biomass in both years; followed by yellow perch in 2013 and emerald shiner in 2014. Overall diet composition was more variable at Spoils Island than at Little Charity Island; however in both years round goby consumption was high from May through September at both locations. Emerald shiner, spottail shiner, freshwater drum, walleye, yellow perch, and white perch were seasonally important by biomass in both years. Overall cormorant consumption (estimated using cormorant consumption demand rates) of age-1 yellow perch approximated consumption by walleye (estimated using percid stock assessment models) in 2013. Analyses relating cormorant consumption to yellow perch and walleye population metrics will provide context on fish consumption rates and assist in management decision making.
Title: Establishing Otolith Microchemical Signatures for Carp Residing in Lake Erie
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
4:40 pm - 5:00 pm
Authors: Margaret C. Caryer*, Bowling Green State University, Department of Geology; Jeremiah J. Davis, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Carterville Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, Marion IL; Jeffery G. Miner, Bowling Green State University, Department of Biology; John R. Farver, Bowling Green State University, Department of Geology
Abstract: Otolith microchemistry has been successfully employed for constraining natal waters and migratory patterns in freshwater fish. The objective of this study is to determine trace element otolith to water uptake ratios for common carp (Cyprinus carpio) over the range of water chemistries found in Lake Erie tributaries. Common carp were selected because they are a close relative to Asian carp and they are abundant throughout the region. Common carp otolith and water samples were collected from 9 impounded water bodies. Both asterisci and lapilli otoliths were extracted and micro-Raman analysis showed the lapilli are composed of the CaCO3 polymorph aragonite while the asterisci are composed of vaterite. The otoliths were digested in dilute nitric acid and were analyzed along with the water samples using an ICP-OES. This study is focused on Sr, which has been shown to be the most useful trace element in otoliths and which varies significantly (from 224 to 2400 ppb) between Lake Erie tributaries. Results show very strong linear relationships (r2 = 0.99 lapilli (aragonite); r2 = 0.98 asterisci (vaterite)) between water Sr:Ca ratios and otolith Sr:Ca ratios over a broad range (0.870 to 24.52 mmol/mol) of water Sr:Ca ratios. We are now comparing the otolith Sr:Ca ratios in the common carp to invasive Asian carps reared in similar water chemistries with the ultimate goal of using otolith microchemistry to identify spawning habitats for any Asian carp found in Lake Erie, thus allowing a rapid focused eradication response.
River Ecology
Tuesday, February 10
10:40 am - 12:00 pm
Title: Ecological Evaluation of an Urban Stream Restoration in West Chicago, Illinois
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
10:40 am - 11:00 am
Authors: Austin Rundus, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois; Dr. James Lukey, Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois; Dr. Jeffrey A. Stein, Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois
Abstract: Urbanization in the United States has created unique challenges to lotic systems, including increased runoff, higher pollution rates, and in-stream habitat degradation. Although stream restoration projects have become more common, ecological evaluations of those projects are rare. From 2005 - 2012 in-stream and riparian habitats of an 8-mile reach of the West Branch of the DuPage River were improved to restore ecological function and benefit stream fish communities. We conducted a two-year post-project evaluation of the West Branch, using as a reference the East Branch of the DuPage River, a degraded stream within the DuPage River watershed. The study objective was to examine the relative fish abundance, fish community composition, and species richness in relation to stream habitat, stream flow, and water quality parameters. Fish communities were sampled using backpack electroshockers, and stream habitat, stream flow, water quality data were collected at 8 sites on each stream in the spring, summer and fall of each year. Preliminary results show a trend towards higher quality stream habitat but similar water quality in the restored West Branch when compared to the reference stream. We detected a trend towards higher fish species richness and abundance in the East Branch that may reflect a lag between physical restoration and positive fish community response. Abundance of young-of-the-year and juvenile Smallmouth Bass, however, was greater in the West Branch, indicating the potential that in-stream restoration had positive impacts on Smallmouth Bass recruitment by providing high quality juvenile rearing habitats.
Title: Big Darby Creek: A Decade of Successful Protection and Restoration of Biodiversity, or a Shifting Baseline?
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
11:00 am - 11:20 am
Authors: Anthony Sasson, The Nature Conservancy
Abstract: Big Darby Creek is a National and State Scenic River because of its outstanding biological diversity, especially challenged because of development and agricultural stresses, and located on the western edge of the expanding metropolitan area of Columbus, Ohio. Over the past decade, it has been the subject of relatively advanced and focused local planning and state environmental policies and implementation. This is at least the third round of intensive, sometimes controversial, efforts to protect this outstanding stream. Both stream protection and restoration have seen extensive and renewed regulatory and voluntary efforts through a coalition of multiple government and conservation organizations. Big Darby Creek and its tributaries have been the target of 1) a unique stormwater permit based on ground water recharge goals; 2) millions of dollars? worth of stream restoration projects; 3) focused land conservation; 4) endangered species protection and augmentation; and 5) a 2014 comprehensive TMDL assessment of over 100 biomonitoring sites and measurement of the watershed's aquatic biological community. The watershed has recorded: 100 species of fish, including 15 state or federal listed species: and 44 species of mussels, including 22 species that are state or federal listed, including five federal endangered and threatened species. This presentation summarizes the efforts to protect and restore this outstanding biodiversity and offers an initial review of success - and provides remarks on continuing challenges and, perhaps, a shifting baseline.
Title: Prioritizing Stream Conservation in Missouri's Conservation Networks: Applications and Lessons for Landscape Scale Freshwater Conservation Planning
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
11:20 am - 11:40 am
Authors: Nick A. Sievert, Missouri Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, University of Missouri; Craig P. Paukert, U.S. Geological Service, Missouri Cooperative Fish & 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 identifying conservation opportunities within and complementary to Missouri's existing conservation networks (Priority Watersheds, Conservation Opportunity Areas, and traditional protected areas). We created a measure of biodiversity value based on species representation weighted by species vulnerability to stream temperature warming, alterations to flow regime, and habitat degradation which allowed us to rank catchments within and complementary to networks from most to least valuable for aquatic biodiversity conservation. Species representation was calculated using an ensemble modeling approach which averaged the probability of occurrence from a suite of species distribution models. Using this information we were able to identify the most valuable stream reaches within protected areas, and the most valuable stream reaches outside of protected areas. Streams in the Ozark subregion in southern Missouri generally had higher conservation values than streams in the Plains in northern Missouri, however there were high value stream reaches distributed across the state. Stream reaches with high conservation values tended to occur in areas with unique communities, rare species, low amounts of agriculture, and larger stream order. This framework could be used by managers, planners, and funding agencies to inform decisions regarding management actions, allocation of funding, and land acquisition at the landscape scale on a regional or even national level.
Title: Connectivity to the Regional Species Pool as a Limiting Factor to the Success of Private Lands Programs in the Kaskaskia Basin, Illinois
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
11:40 am - 12:00 pm
Authors: Levi Drake, University of Illinois; Yong Cao, Leon Hinz, Brian Metzke — Illinois Natural History Survey
Abstract: The State of Illinois Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) offers land owners in the Kaskaskia basin financial incentives to implement conservation practices on a voluntary basis. This study looks to incorporate the regional species pool concept to investigate how the relationship between CREP lands and stream fish diversity depend on a site's connection to the species pool defined at different spatial scales. Fish samples were collected at 78 randomly selected sites throughout the basin from June through August, 2013 and 2014. A combination of existing data from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources fisheries database and of newly measured data were used for analysis of species pools in several aquatic regions about each site. ArcMap's Network Analyst was used to calculate a matrix of network waterway distances amongst sites and define aquatic regions in incremental distances of 5 waterway kilometers from study sites. Basin-wide models of individual species and overall species richness were used to improve the estimates of the species pools. Machine learning techniques (e.g., boosted regression trees and random forest regression) were used to evaluate the relative importance of aquatic regional species pools and the proportion of CREP lands in the watershed to fish species richness at the local scale. This study provides new insights into the role of stream connections in restoring fish diversity and effectiveness of CREP for aquatic conservation.
BREAK
River Ecology
Tuesday, February 10
1:20 pm - 3:00 pm
Title: The Long-term Effects of Improved Water Quality on Predatory Fishes in the Illinois River Waterway
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
1:20 pm - 1:40 pm
Authors: Jerrod Parker, John Epifanio, Yong Cao — Illinois Natural History Survey
Abstract: For more than a century, the Illinois River Waterway (IRW) has been subject to channelization, damming, dredging, agricultural runoff, and industrial and municipal effluents. As a result, the waterway's fish assemblages were depauperate throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Recoveries in fish assemblages, particularly game fishes, were observed following passage of the 1972 Clean Water Act and implementation of the Chicago area Tunnel and Reservoir Plan in the 1980s. We evaluated how improvements in specific water quality variables may have driven long-term changes in the proportional abundance and biomass of predatory fish species (1983-2010). We included weather data in modeling to account for the noise in water quality-fish relationships. Both random forests (RF) and multiple linear (MLR) regressions were used to assess the response of predatory fishes to these two types of environmental variables. Model performances varied with river reaches and response variables (0 = Rฒ = 0.68 for RF; 0.19= adjusted Rฒ = 0.88 for MLR). Both approaches indicated dissolved oxygen, un-ionized ammonia, and water clarity were dominant factors influencing the changes in fish assemblages. Additionally, the effects of water quality decreased and the effects of weather conditions increased in the IRW reaches furthest downstream from Chicago. We concluded that improved water quality adequately explained the return of game fishes to the river. To maximize the ecological benefits of water-quality improvement, restoration efforts should begin to focus on flow regime and habitat.
Title: The Efficacy of Integrated Soil and Water Conservation and Stream Ecosystem Integrity: A Paired Watershed Approach
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
1:40 pm - 2:00 pm
Authors: *Trisha McClain, Environmental Studies Scholar, Manchester University and Jerry Sweeten, Professor Biology, Director of Environmental Studies
Abstract: While it is well known that significant landscape level changes have occurred in Indiana since European settlement, there are no scientific accounts of the ecological/biological conditions that may have occurred across Indiana landscapes prior to this period. Clearing forests, draining wetlands, and altering headwater streams have facilitated the growth of agricultural productivity, but it has also compromised stream ecosystems. Excessive loss of nutrients and soil from upland areas decreases agricultural sustainability as it relates to soil health and/or water quality. While water quality issues associated with agricultural land use are scientifically quantifiable, it is difficult to prescribe solutions for nonpoint source pollutants that are realistic at a spatial scale necessary to detect an improvement in stream ecosystem integrity. This research examines the efficacy of soil and water conservation practices, through a paired-watershed approach, as they relate to reduction in movement of nutrients and soil from agricultural fields and the response of chemical, physical, and biological parameters. Each experimental watershed is a tributary of the Eel River of northern Indiana and less than 3,000 acres. Each of the streams has been equipped with automatic water samplers, pressure transducers, data loggers. Base-line data on fish communities and export of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment have been documented prior to BMPs. Nitrate levels over 50 mg/L and Total Phosphorus levels exceeding 5 mg/L have been documented. Fish communities have been assessed at over 20 sites in the watersheds and Index of Biotic Integrity scores range from poor to fair in both streams.
Title: The Effect of Agricultural Best Management Practices on Macroinvertebrate Community Health Within Two Agricultural Watersheds
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
2:00 pm - 2:20 pm
Authors: *Matt Miller, Environmental Studies Student, Manchester University and Jerry Sweeten, Professor Biology and Director of Environmental Studies, Manchester University
Abstract: Agricultural best management practices such as no-till farming and use of fall cover crops are becoming a more widely utilized method to reduce erosion and nutrient loss from agricultural fields. In 2013, Manchester University was the recipient of a grant funded by the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts to study the effects of best management practices on the water quality of two agricultural Eel River subwatersheds. Benthic macroinvertebrates are commonly used as biological indicators of stream health due to their diverse physiologies and life cycles, which make them more sensitive to organic pollution and allow for more rapid adaptation to environmental changes. Invertebrates were collected according to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management Multi-habitat Macroinvertebrate Collection Procedure (MHCB) from 17 total sampling sites and identified to the family level. Additionally, a Qualitative Habitat Evaluation Index (QHEI) was performed at each sample site. QHEI scores were not significantly different between the two tributaries (P=0.63), however, scores for both Hilsonhoff Biotic Index and Shannon Diversity Index were significantly different between each tributary (P=0.02 and P<0.001, respectively). This study suggests the macroinvertebrate community is healthier in the tributary which had best management practices applied to its watershed and that the stream with best management practices had a lower level of organic pollution.
Title: Quantifying Larval Fishes Community Below and Above a Potential Fish Barrier Site Within the Minnesota River
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
2:20 pm - 2:40 pm
Authors: Nathan J. Lederman, Dr. Shannon Fisher, Alexandra Dahmes — Minnesota State University, Mankato; Dr. Doug Dieterman, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Abstract: The Minnesota River is economically, recreationally and ecologically important to the region; however, it is currently under the threat of Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and bighead carp (H. nobilis) expansion from the Mississippi River. Preventing invasive fishes introduction to additional waters of the state is a high priority for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Studies have documented the many impacts of non-native carp and their ability to rapidly alter communities. Therefore, preventing invasive species from establishing in new waters is critical. Although fish barrier effectiveness frequently comes into question, the placement of a barrier to protect the Minnesota River from invasive fishes is being carefully considered. Depending on barrier design, the impacts can be highly variable, ranging from hydrologic disruptions, inhibition of native species migration, and recreational challenges. Community dynamics baseline data before barrier placement and/or carp invasion are needed. Larval fishes are sensitive to environmental changes, vulnerability makes them a good and rapid indicator of detrimental or beneficial modifications. Therefore, we assessed larval fish communities above and below a potential barrier site, using light traps and modified sled net from May - August 2014. We hypothesized that a less diverse but higher density larval fish community would be present in the lower river gradient due to natural changes that occur along the longitudinal gradient. These data will also be useful as the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources develops a long-term monitoring program that includes standardized larval fish sampling.
Title: Quantifying River Fragmentation: Impacts of Low-Head Dams on Geomorphology and Fish Biodiversity in the Neosho River, Kansas
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
2:40 pm - 3:00 pm
Authors: Jane S. Fencl, Martha E. Mather, Sean M. Hitchman — USGS Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Division of Biology, Kansas State University; Joseph M. Smith, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington
Abstract: Dams can alter fundamental characteristics of riverine ecosystems, by fragmenting ecological, hydrological, and geomorphological connectivity. Of the over 2,770 peer-reviewed papers on dams and fish, only about 6% target low-head dams (< 6 m high) even though these small dams are a common type of instream barrier. To increase scientific knowledge about these potential geomorphic and ecological impacts, we sampled at six low-head dams and five undammed reference sites in the upper Neosho River watershed, Kansas. First, we measured longitudinal patterns in substrate size downstream of dams and the extent of impoundments upstream to determine dam footprints. Then, using a mini-Missouri trawl, we sampled fish assemblages at 9-14 transects upstream and downstream of each dam and at reference sites. Dams altered geomorphology for an average of 1.1 km downstream and 6.7 km upstream of dams. Richness (median difference= 4 species) and abundance (median difference = 37 individuals) were significantly higher below dams than above dams. Surprisingly, for the entire fish community over the entire 3 km area sampled at each dam, richness and abundance did not differ downstream of dams compared to undammed reference sites. Longitudinal trends (trends in impact and recovery), specialized species-habitat associations, and dam position in the watershed complicate the quantification of dam impacts on biodiversity. These complexities need to be resolved in order to understand and manage the potential fragmentation caused by ubiquitous low-head dams and conserve valued aquatic biodiversity in the face of increasing human impacts.
BREAK
River Ecology
Tuesday, February 10
3:40 pm - 5:00 pm
Title: Eel River Ecosystem: Stream Response to Low-head Dam Removal
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
3:40 pm - 4:00 pm
Authors: *Peter Bauson, Manchester University; Jerry Sweeten, Manchester University
Abstract: There are nearly 1,100 dams located in streams across Indiana. Many of these dams, even old low-head dams, pose danger to humans and negatively affect stream ecological integrity. Dams alter stream habitat, block fish passage and create a lentic-type environment upstream of the barrier. The purpose of this research was to describe physical and biological changes after removal of two low-head dams from the Eel River of northern Indiana. The Eel River is a 177 km 5th Order stream with a watershed area of 2,180 km2 and prior to this project there were six dams in the mainstem of the Eel. The most downstream dam removed was located near the town of North Manchester (river km 84) and the upstream dam removed was located near the town of Liberty Mills (river km 95). These dams were constructed between 1840 and 1850 to power grist mills and both were structurally challenged. Removal of both dams occurred in October 2012. Approximately 306 stream kilometers were reconnected. At Liberty Mills, the index of biotic integrity (IBI) score increased from 35 to 50 at 0 to 500 m upstream of the dam. The Qualitative Habitat Evaluation Index (QHEI) increased from 54 to 67. Similar results were observed after removal of the dam at North Manchester with IBI scores increasing from 40 to 50 and QHEI scores increasing from 52 to 73. These ecological data, along with improved human safety, suggests removing these structures from Indiana streams will improve stream ecosystem integrity and improve safer recreational opportunities.
Title: Identification of Potential Stressors to the Fish Community of the Deep River- Portage Burns Watershed in Northwest Indiana
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
4:00 pm - 4:20 pm
Authors: Kevin Gaston, Indiana Department of Environmental Management; Jordan Richard, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Abstract: Deep River-Portage Burns watershed drains approximately 180 square miles of Lake and Porter counties in northwestern Indiana. Preliminary surveys revealed impairments for dissolved oxygen, E. coli, biotic communities, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in fish, and siltation. From April 2013 to April 2014, 35 sites were targeted across the watershed to provide additional data for the purposes of Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) development, watershed planning, and future comparisons to evaluate changes in the water quality. Sites were sampled for water chemistry, E. coli, flow, and biological communities (fish and macroinvertebrates) with corresponding habitat evaluations. Water chemistry samples were collected monthly and analyzed for general chemistry and nutrients. E. coli samples were collected monthly during the recreational season, between April 2013 and October 2013. Flow measurements were taken monthly at the nine pour points of the 12 digit Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) in the watershed. Fish were collected using backpack electrofishers as well as boat and canoe electrofishing systems. Using nonmetric multidimensional scaling, dissolved oxygen, total nitrogen, and total phosphorous were identified as potential chemical stressors to the fish community assemblage in the Deep River-Portage Burns watershed. Potential sources for these stressors may include nonpoint sources from agriculture and pastures, land application of manure, and urban and rural run-off. This presentation will discuss the methodology for identifying chemical stressors to the fish community and future applications with other biological communities and habitat data.
Title: Assessing Environmental Drivers of Stream Fish Community Structure
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
4:20 pm - 4:40 pm
Authors: Ethan Kleekamp, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Missouri; Craig Paukert, U.S. Geological Survey, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Missouri
Abstract: Stream biota are influenced by in-stream habitat alterations and landscape disturbances at various spatial scales. Because fish communities vary considerably between ecoregions, habitat types, and in response to environmental disturbances, accounting for natural variation in stream habitat and fish community structure is critical for accurate stream assessment. We assessed the influence of stream water quality and habitat characteristics on fish species abundance using data collected from wadeable streams in Missouri between 2000 and 2013 (Central Plains Ecoregion n = 242, Ozark Ecoregion n = 361). Our analysis revealed a strong positive relationship between darter and benthic species and coarse gravel in the Central Plains Ecoregion, and indicated that substrate type and cover availability were repeatedly more influential than water quality parameters. Stream width was among the top predictors for most species, and aquatic ecoregion was a significant predictor for darter and benthic species, with higher richness values occurring in Ozark streams. These findings demonstrate the importance of accounting for spatial sources of biological variation, and suggest a potential strong influence of cover availability on stream fish abundances.
Title: Tolerance Values as a Method to Describe Fish Assemblage Health in the Wabash River Basin
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
4:40 pm - 5:00 pm
Authors: Drew Holloway, Muncie Sanitary District Bureau of Water Quality; Jason Doll, Biology Department Ball State University; Stephen Jacquemin, Wright State University- Lake Campus Department of Biology
Abstract: Assignment of tolerance values (TVs) to fish taxa is an ecosystem based approach to biological monitoring. Using species specific TVs based on presence/absence, abundance, and overall habitat quality data we look to classify the tolerance status of individual fish species based on Qualitative Habitat Evaluation Index (QHEI) scores. Fish species TVs have been used to describe specific habitat characteristics not mentioned in the calculation of Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) results. Tolerance values were calculated for each Indiana fish taxa using available data from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) probabilistic monitoring surveys in the Eastern Corn Belt Plain. These species specific TVs were then assigned to collections from three different long-term fish assemblage datasets spanning several decades from the Wabash River drainage: West Fork White River, Wabash River and Big Raccoon Creek. Average annual TVs for each long term dataset were modeled as a function of USGS daily discharge hydrology information to evaluate the potential for temporal trends concurrent with flow regime changes. No significant relationship between average TVs and hydrology was identified. Interestingly, while no relationship was observed between TVs and hydrology, past studies done by the Bureau of Water Quality show there is a correlation between average TVs and IBI results. Thus, TVs might not be the best method for identifying long term hydrological variation in fish assemblages but could be used in addition to IBI results to describe biological integrity.
Fish Ecology
Tuesday, February 10
10:40 am - 12:00 pm
Title: The Frozen Fish: What Happens to Shallow Lake Ecology and Fish Communities After a Severe Winter
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
10:40 am - 11:00 am
Authors: Stephanie (Longstaff) Hummel, North Dakota State University, Department of Biological Sciences, Environmental & Conservation Science Ph.D. Student; Shane Bowe, Red Lake Department of Natural Resources, Director of Water Resources; Dr. Mark Hanson, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Research, Wetland Wildlife Populations & Research Group; Dr. Marinus Otte, North Dakota State University, Department of Biological Sciences, Editor and Chief of Wetlands; Dr. Donna Jacob, North Dakota State University, Department of Biological Sciences; Josh Suckow, Bemidji State University, Department of Biological Sciences
Abstract: Wetland loss throughout the United States, greater than 90% in some areas, has caused concern about biodiversity and ecosystem service loss. Studies assessing ecological characteristics of un-altered wetlands are critical to interpret potential responses to anthropogenic changes. Understanding consequences of natural disturbance regimes in pristine wetlands may provide clues how ecosystem services and ecology might respond to future climate dynamics. Previous research suggests fish play important roles in shallow lakes and wetlands, with transitions to turbid stable states, by decreasing submerged aquatic vegetation, re-suspending sediment, and inducing trophic cascades. Understanding how fish communities contribute to shallow lake ecology is important for successful conservation and restoration. Our objectives, part of a long term monitoring study, were 1) inventory fish communities and biomass; 2) assess among-lake patterns in plant communities and sediment chemistry. We selected 24 shallow lakes, located within Red Lake Nation Indian Reservation. This landscape has been subject to little anthropogenic disturbance and our study waters were considered pristine. At each lake we assessed fish communities using 3 fyke nets, and 1 experimental gill net, for a single 24-hr period during July. Upon retrieval, fish were sorted by species, counted, and massed. During 2014, following a severe winter, we found differences in fish communities relative to 2013-2009. Patterns of response to winter kill in these shallow lake fish communities may help identify factors responsible for future ecological changes. Our results demonstrate how lake responses to disturbance could help natural resource managers make better decisions in response to anticipated climate change.
Title: Winter Growth of Brown Trout in Southeastern Minnesota Streams: The Effects of Groundwater Buffering and Trout Diet
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
11:00 am - 11:20 am
Authors: William E. French, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Bruce Vondracek, U.S. Geological Survey Minnesota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Leonard C. Ferrington Jr., University of Minnesota; Jacques C. Finlay, University of Minnesota
Abstract: Winter has traditionally been considered a period of dormancy for stream dwelling trout in temperate latitudes. Seasonal changes including low water temperatures, ice formation, and reduced prey availability from aquatic and terrestrial sources often contribute to reductions in trout growth and survival. However, localized habitat characteristics may mitigate the effect of winter and benefit trout populations. Specifically, groundwater input may buffer water temperature, reduce or eliminate ice formation, and allow fish to maintain higher activity rates and more efficient functioning of metabolic processes. This study examined the growth and condition of Brown Trout in 24 groundwater-dominated streams in the Driftless Ecoregion of southeastern Minnesota. Overwinter growth and condition were examined from uniquely marked individuals in relation to the effects of groundwater input and diet quality (amount and caloric density of prey). Brown Trout exhibited significant growth in 17 of 24 streams examined in this study, and there was no significant change in condition between early and late winter. Juvenile fish grew faster than adults, and there was no significant difference in condition between adults and juveniles. Groundwater input positively influenced growth for both adults and juveniles, likely mediated through buffering of winter water temperature.
Title: Reproduction, Habitat Preference, and Year Class Strength of Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieui) in the Eel River Near North Manchester, Indiana
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
11:20 am - 11:40 am
Authors: *Ethan Stanifer, Environmental Studies Student, Manchester University and Jerry Sweeten, Professor Biology and Director of Environmental Studies
Abstract: The Eel River has been the subject of numerous fish surveys since a dramatic absence of smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieui) was documented in the early 1980’s. While these surveys have provided important data, none have focused on a particular stream reach over multiple field seasons. During May and June 2006-2013, data were collected regarding the population, habitat, spawning, and year class strength of smallmouth bass in the Eel River near North Manchester, Indiana in relation to stream discharge and total suspended sediment. Nest surveys were conducted weekly over a 2.5 km stream reach. Fish clearly preferred nest sites in back eddies where water velocities were less than 0.1 m/sec and water depths were between 30 and 40 cm. In 2006 and 2008 nesting success was poor with stream discharge of 31m3/sec and 14.5 m3/sec respectively. In 2007 there were twenty successful nests with a mean stream discharge of only 6.6 m3/sec. The largest number of black fry produced in 2006 from any nest was 39 and the largest number of sac fry counted was only 139. In 2007 over 500 black fry were observed and over 1,500 sac fry were counted in at least one nest. There were no documented successful nests in 2008 or 2013, but a record number of nests were documented during the drought of 2012 (36 nests).
Title: Smallmouth Bass Population Characteristics and Movements in the Menominee River, Wisconsin-Michigan
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
11:40 am - 12:00 pm
Authors: Joshua Schulze*, Wisconsin Cooperative Fisheries Research Unit, Fisheries Analysis Center, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point; Daniel Isermann, U.S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin Cooperative Fisheries Research Unit, Fisheries Analysis Center, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point; Michael Donofrio, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Abstract: Several segments of the Menominee River that borders the states of Wisconsin and Michigan support exceptional fisheries for smallmouth bass. Fishery managers would like to know more about the abundance, growth, mortality, and seasonal movements of these populations in order to make more informed management decisions. Specifically, there is some concern that smallmouth bass congregate in relatively small areas during fall and winter months, making them more susceptible to harvest compared to other portions of the open-water fishing season. Our primary objectives were to describe the population characteristics and seasonal movements of smallmouth bass in a portion of the Menominee River below Grand Rapids Dam to determine if current harvest regulations are sufficient to maintain the quality of this fishery. During 2013, smallmouth bass were collected by electrofishing and were tagged with t-bar anchor tags and dorsal spines were removed for age estimation. Thirty smallmouth bass ? 15 inches total length were implanted with acoustic receivers and their movements will be monitored for a period of 1 year using both active tracking and fixed receivers. We will discuss the first-year results of this work.
BREAK
Fish Ecology
Tuesday, February 10
1:20 pm - 3:00 pm
Title: Impacts of Invasive Species on Smallmouth Bass Reproduction in the St. Lawrence River
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
1:20 pm - 1:40 pm
Authors: Julie Claussen, Illinois Natural History Survey; James Ludden, College of DuPage; Jana Svec, Moraine Valley College; David Philipp, Illinois Natural History Survey
Abstract: Long-term studies on the reproductive ecology of Smallmouth Bass Micropterus dolomieu in the St Lawrence River has allowed us to assess the impact of invasive species. Specifically, we compare the nesting locations, mating success, and reproductive success during the early 1990s (pre-invasion) with current values today (post-invasion). We then discuss the potential long-term effects of those impacts on recruitment of smallmouth bass in this system and the fishery for this important species.
Title: Seasonal Variation in Largemouth Bass Mercury Levels
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
1:40 pm - 2:00 pm
Authors: Nathan Mills, Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Iowa State University; Darcy Cashatt, Iowa Department of Natural Resources; Michael J. Weber, Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Iowa State University; Clay Pierce, Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Iowa State University, U.S. Geological Survey and Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Abstract: Mercury contamination in aquatic ecosystems is a global concern due to the health risks of consuming contaminated aquatic organisms, particularly fish. Mercury concentrations in fishes are highly variable and are influenced by a range of biotic and abiotic variables. Seasonal variation in mercury levels are typically overlooked when monitoring mercury levels, establishing consumption advisories, or creating accumulation models. Temporally different sampling regimes could bias mercury concentration comparisons and provide biased estimates of accumulation potential. Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) are a popular sport fish and can accumulate mercury levels surpassing the EPA consumption guideline. The objective of this study is to evaluate seasonal variation in Largemouth Bass mercury concentrations in a small Iowa lake. Largemouth Bass (N = 23-33/month, 348-411 mm TL) were collected with DC electrofishing from Twelve Mile Lake (267 ha) during May, July, August, and October, 2013. Mercury concentrations were highly variable, ranging from undetectable (< 0.05 mg/Kg) to 0.43mg/Kg. Mercury concentrations were 38% higher in May than in July, but concentrations were similar among other months. All samples collected in May were above the detection level, while 24-27% of the samples collected in July, August, and October had undetectable mercury concentrations. Results of this study suggest that seasonality may be a factor influencing mercury accumulation in fishes. Understanding seasonal variation in mercury concentrations will aid the development of standardized sampling programs for long-term monitoring and may also play a role in establishing fish consumption advisories.
Title: Chronic Toxicity of Ammonia to Rio Grande Silvery Minnow Exposed Continuously and Intermittently
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
2:00 pm - 2:20 pm
Authors: Kevin Buhl, U.S. Geological Survey
Abstract: A portion of the endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow's (Hybognathus amarus) current range receives discharges from several wastewater treatment plants. These plants experience periodic upset events, whereby they discharge elevated concentrations of ammonia into the Middle Rio Grande. The objective of this research was to evaluate the effects of chronic pulsed exposures to ammonia on early stages of silvery minnows. Two chronic toxicity tests were conducted simultaneously silvery minnow larvae. In one test, the fish were exposed to constant ammonia concentrations for 30 days. In the second test, fish were exposed for 30 days to daily 12-hour pulses of ammonia in which the peak concentrations were about 1.0X and the daily average concentrations were about 0.5X those in the constant concentration exposure test. The tests were conducted in reconstituted water that simulated that in the Middle Rio Grande. The acute toxicity of ammonia to same group of larvae was also determined and the 24-h, 96-h, and 168-h LC50s of total (un-ionized) ammonia were 21.1 (1.67), 16.2 (1.33), and 14.6 (1.22) mg/L as N, respectively. In both chronic tests, growth (body weight and total length) was more sensitive than survival. Intermittent exposures to daily pulses of ammonia for 30 days caused reduced growth of silvery minnow at the same 24-h mean concentration as was observed in the continuous exposure study. In both exposures, the estimated no observed effect concentrations (NOEC) and maximum acceptable toxicant concentrations (MATC) of total ammonia based on 24-h mean values were 4.6-4.7 and 6.8 mg N/L, respectively.
Title: Assessing the Spatiotemporal Drift of Larval Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) in the St. Clair River Delta, MI
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
2:20 pm - 2:40 pm
Authors: Ryan T. Young, University of Michigan - SNRE; James S. Diana, University of Michigan - SNRE; Edward F. Roseman, United States Geological Survey
Abstract: Historically, the St. Clair River provided ample spawning grounds for many native fish species, including lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens). Anthropogenic alterations to the river's hydrology and substrate have resulted in the loss or degradation of important spawning and rearing habitat, reducing lake sturgeon populations to less than 1% of their former abundance. Rehabilitation strategies for remnant populations of lake sturgeon within the Great Lakes are continuously adapting to new scientific data and sociocultural perspectives. Wherein previous lake sturgeon rehabilitation efforts have focused on reproductive enhancement of the adult stage or stocking of advanced fingerlings, recent research has recognized critical knowledge gaps relating to early life stages. From 2013 to 2014, the University of Michigan and United States Geological Survey (USGS) deployed a series of D-frame drift nets and depth-stratified conical net sets (surface, middle, and bottom) in the St. Clair River delta. Our objective was to assess the spatiotemporal distribution of lake sturgeon larvae longitudinally throughout the North and Middle Channels and vertically throughout the water column. In 2013, we captured a total of 169 larvae (D-frame series, 163 larvae; conical series, 6 larvae). In 2014, we captured a total of 710 larvae (D-frame series, 683 larvae; conical series, 27 larvae). We would like to bring into question the nature of lake sturgeon larval drift (whether active or passive) and the likelihood of larvae remaining in the river in spite of strong currents. Our results have broader implications when setting management priorities for lake sturgeon in large river systems.
Title: Assessment of the Feasibility to Use Otolith Microchemistry as a Research Tool in South Dakota Missouri River Tributaries
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
2:40 pm - 3:00 pm
Authors: Melissa R. Wuellner, South Dakota State University; Jeffrey Grote, South Dakota State University; Mark Fincel, South Dakota Deparment of Game, Fish and Parks
Abstract: The microchemical composition of fish otoliths is a "biological tag" that reflects the use of different habitats throughout the life history of a fish. Since the otolith signature at an annulus directly reflects that of the water in which that fish lived at that given time, documenting the signatures of water is important. However, signatures may vary between seasons and between years. If substantial intra- and interannual variability exists, this may preclude the use of otolith microchemistry to answer research needs. The objective of this study was to determine longitudinal and temporal patterns of trace element signatures of eight Missouri River tributaries. A single water surface sample was collected from 36 sites from the headwaters to the confluence among eight tributaries during a two-week period in July and October 2013 and May, July, and October 2014. Samples were analyzed for Ca, Sr, Ba, Mg, Mn, and Na concentrations using high-resolution, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Preliminary results indicate substantial changes in microelemental signatures between July and October 2013 which diluted signatures during October in some tributaries. May 2014 signatures were more similar to October 2013 signatures than July 2013. More distinct longitudinal signatures may be found using a combination or Sr and Mg signatures than other elements, which appear to be stable throughout a tributary. Further results from this study will be used to determine the feasibility of using otolith microchemistry to address potential fisheries research questions in the future.
BREAK
Fish Ecology
Tuesday, February 10
3:40 pm - 5:00 pm
Title: Habitat Utilization and Influences on Dispersal of Age 0-2 Lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) in the St. Clair River System, MI
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
3:40 pm - 4:00 pm
Authors: Joseph R. Krieger, James S. Diana — University of Michigan
Abstract: The identification and protection of nursery habitat utilized by post-drift larval and age 0-to-2 lake sturgeon has been designated as a top priority in the Great Lakes Basin. In the Great Lakes Connecting Channels, most studies have focused on adult and juvenile (>300mm) lake sturgeon, with relatively little attention being given to earlier life-stages, resulting in a gap in knowledge of lake sturgeon-environmental connectivity through their early life history development. Improved understanding of this critical period is necessary to inform restoration efforts for this species. This study examined the influence of both abiotic (water current, substrate composition, depth) and biotic (invertebrate composition, vegetation cover) influences on the distribution of larval and age 0-to-2 lake sturgeon in the St. Clair River System. Larvae were found to reside in the ~4-5 km stretch of the river between their spawning point of origin and the river mouth, for a period of 2-3 weeks and were found in greater abundance in smaller, low-flow velocity, secondary channels, suggesting that larvae may not just passively drift downstream but are actively selecting preferred sites. Furthermore, this indicates river flow dynamics may not be as predictive of larval dispersal patterns as is generally assumed. Georeferenced habitat information on substrate, invertebrate composition, river flow, and depth collected in this system will also be used to construct a lake sturgeon habitat suitability index in a GIS to produce spatially explicit models, predicting the location and abundance of suitable YOY and juvenile life stage specific habitat in the St. Clair River.
Title: Diel Distribution of Superabundant Fish in a Great Plains Flood-Control Reservoir
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
4:00 pm - 4:20 pm
Authors: Nathaniel T. Stewart, Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska; Lucas K. Kowalewski, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism; 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: Fish temporally shift their spatial distributions in response to environmental factors including food availability and predation risk that vary temporally and spatially. In the case of invasive fish species, research on how and why distributions shift may aid in developing control strategies and predicting effects of invasive species. Superabundant populations of White Perch (Morone americana) and Gizzard Shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) have become established in southeastern Nebraska flood-control reservoirs and have accounted for the > 90% of fish sampled in gillnets by managers. Little information exists on the spatiotemporal distribution of superabundant, fish populations. Our objective was to describe how the spatial distribution of White Perch and Gizzard Shad change over a diel cycle in a flood-control reservoir. Sampling occurred during 11- 29 August 2014. Data were collected using a consumer-grade sonar unit, vertically deployed gillnets, and a boat electrofisher. During 1100-1500 we observed fish distributed throughout the water column in water deeper than 2 m (i.e., off shore). During 2300-0300 we observed fish distributed in the upper 2 m of the water column throughout the reservoir. The shift in distribution that we observed could be a response to prey (i.e., zooplankton) movement that would be expected in superabundant populations, where competition for food resources could be intense.
Title: Factors Affecting Growth Differences Among Juvenile Black, White and Blacknose Crappies
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
4:20 pm - 4:40 pm
Authors: Jeffrey P. Gring, University of Illinois; David H. Wahl, Illinois Natural History Survey
Abstract: Although stocking of crappie is not historically widespread, it has recently gained popularity for managing populations in systems with poor recruitment and/or high angling pressure. Anecdotal evidence suggests that blacknose crappie, a phenotypic variant of black crappie Pomoxis nigromaculatus used for stocking, exhibit increased growth and survival over black crappie in hatchery environments. We compared age-0 growth and survival of black, white (P. annularis), and blacknose crappies in 0.04-ha experimental ponds using a common garden approach. Throughout the three-month experiment, a suite of variables was measured in each pond in order to associate between-pond variation in growth rates with environmental conditions. There were no differences in survival among the strains, but blacknose crappie outgrew black and white crappies in both length and weight. Black crappie also grew faster than white crappie in weight but not length. Environmental variables affected the three strains similarly, as ponds with high zooplankton density, low macroinvertebrate density (mainly dipteran larvae), and low vegetation density (mainly Potamogeton spp.) had the fasted growth rates. Our multivariate analyses of environmental influences on growth suggest an indirect effect of turbidity on black crappie, but not blacknose or white crappies. Understanding differences in growth and survival among juvenile black, white, and blacknose crappies in a controlled setting, as well as the environmental factors driving these differences, will aid management decisions about crappie stocking.
Title: Zebra Mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) Habitat Association in Four West-Central Minnesota Lakes
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
4:40 pm - 5:00 pm
Authors: April Londo, Aquatic Biology Graduate Student, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Dr. Shannon Fisher, Fisheries Biologist, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Water Resources Center Director; Dr. Michael McCartney, Research Assistant Professor, Dreissenid Mussel Biologist, University of Minnesota, St. Paul
Abstract: In 1989, zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) were first documented in the ""Land of 10,000 Lakes"" in the Lake Superior Basin near Duluth, Minnesota. Zebra mussels are effective invaders that pose a wide range of threats in Minnesota waters; however, the species has not been extensively studied in the state. As with any animal population, understanding population dynamics and habitat preference are critical to management strategy development. Zebra mussels attach to a range of substrates, but have higher densities on large, hard habitats (i.e.,Wentworth Scale >64mm). Zebra mussels also tend to be negatively phototaxic and initial observations suggested a positive correlation between zebra mussel and macrophyte densities, possibly due to light inhibition. Therefore, we postulate that lakes with large substrates and dense vegetation would have the highest densities of zebra mussels. We conducted a zebra mussel ""habitat association"" in four west-central Minnesota lakes colonized prior to 2009. Six 50 meter transects per lake were sampled in July 2014. At 10 meter intervals along each SCUBA-observed transect, a 0.25m^2 quadrat was assessed. Zebra mussels and all potential substrate data was collected. Zebra mussel density and size structure associated with each type of vegetation was determined. Macrophytes and macroalgae were identified and total biomass of each was recorded. Zebra mussel densities were documented from 1,600 to 8,000 -m^2 and were found primarily attached to Chara spp., filamentous algae, and dead native mussel shells.
Fish Management
Wednesday, February 11
8:00 am - 10:00 am
Title: Stocking Density Analysis of Two Small Indigenous Species Punti Puntius sophore and Dedhuwa Esomus danricus to Improve Sustainability of Typical Six-Species Large-Carp Culture Systems in Rural Nepal
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
8:00 am - 8:20 am
Authors: Bailey A. Keeler, James S. Diana — University of Michigan; Madhav Shrestha, Agriculture and Forestry University of Nepal
Abstract: Adding small indigenous species (SIS) to polyculture ponds in rural Nepal has potential to improve the livelihoods for farmers and their families. However, there has been little research on determining an optimal stocking density for SIS, the resulting production of large carp, and the availability of SIS for household consumption.

Farmers do not intentionally stock SIS as they see no benefit to increasing densities above those entering the system naturally. This research provides evidence to help fisheries managers better understand SIS potential and advise on optimal pond stocking strategies, so that farmers can more efficiently use their pond space and increase the economic, nutritional, and environmental sustainability of carp culture in the region.

The main goal of this research is to identify an optimal stocking density of two SIS (Punti – Puntius sophore, and Dedhuwa – Esomus danricus) within a typical 6-species large carp polyculture system without significant negative impact on water quality or large carp growth.

Twelve 200m2 ponds were stocked (August 2013) using 3 treatments and a control (Figure 1). SIS stocking densities were chosen based on a literature review, and are widely varied in order to clearly show differential impact(s) and identify an optimal stocking density.

Water quality measurements were taken weekly, diurnal oxygen measurements were taken bi-monthly to estimate primary productivity, and partial harvests were taken monthly to assess carp growth. During the final harvest (January 2014), ponds were drained and all fish collected and measured. Preliminary results show SIS densities had no direct effect on large carp production.
Title: Proactive Algae Management to Improve Water Quality and Fisheries
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
8:20 am - 8:40 am
Authors: Shaun Hyde, West Bishop — SePRO Corporation
Abstract: Algae are a critical component of an aquatic ecosystem and can provide a valuable, natural source of oxygen and nutrients. However, excessive growth of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) can negatively impact a healthy fishery. These algae are of particular concern to waterbodies due to their structural characteristics (scums, mats, mucilage, etc.) impacting the ability to move up the food chain. Additionally, many cyanobacteria can produce secondary metabolites like toxins that can directly harm zooplankton and fish, as well as creating off flavor in fish. Improved management approaches selecting for beneficial algae that support the food chain are needed. This research focused on evaluating three algae and water quality management programs following an action threshold (AT) based approach; 1) copper sulfate, 2) SeClearฎ Algaecide and Water Quality Enhancer, 3) SeClear plus Phoslockฎ phosphorus locking technology. The AT parameters were standardized (i.e. Secchi depth, chlorophyll a, cyanobacteria density, etc.) for this study. If an AT parameter was exceeded in a pond, the designated program was implemented throughout 2012 and 2013 study period. Overall, SeClear ponds had 49% fewer and Phoslock plus SeClear ponds had 73% fewer action threshold exceeded parameters compared to copper sulfate (both significant at a = 0.05). Programs 2 and 3 significantly decreased; 1) nuisance cyanobacteria levels, 2) number of algaecide applications and 3) elemental copper inputs necessary to achieve desired results. The integration of proactive algae management strategies along with phosphorus mitigation can result in improved water quality conditions in aquatic ecosystems.
Title: Proven Success of Early Detection and Rapid Response for Eradication of Invasive Aquatic Plants
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
8:40 am - 9:00 am
Authors: Scott Shuler, Jake Britton, Mark Heilman, Ph.D. — SePRO Corporation
Abstract: Invasive aquatic plants such as hydrilla, egeria and Eurasian watermilfoil can have significant negative impacts to ecological processes, fisheries habitat, recreation, navigation, water conveyance and property values. In Indiana, egeria has been eradicated from Griffy Lake and a number of smaller water bodies. Hydrilla management at Lake Manitou (Indiana) is nearing completion. The California Department of Food and Agriculture has managed a Hydrilla Eradication Program since the discovery of the plant in 1976. The State has successfully achieved eradication in 29 of 32 sites within the state. The State of Washington has successfully eradicated hydrilla, egeria and Eurasian watermilfoil from a number of lakes. Eradication efforts are underway for introduced hybrid elodea (Elodea canadensis x nuttallii) in Alaska. Effective early detection and rapid response programs require education and prevention efforts, rapid response to infestations, and effective and rapid management utilizing proven tools once established. The presentation will describe past and ongoing eradication efforts for invasive aquatic plants from around the country. Education, prevention, and development of AIS plans alone are not sufficient without rapid response and implementation of management once establishment occurs.
Title: Fast Food Perch: Yellow Perch Only Lakes as a Management Tool to Grow Big Fish Fast
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
9:00 am - 9:20 am
Authors: Rebecca Pawlak, University of Nebraska-Kearney; Casey Schoenebeck, University of Nebraska-Kearney; Keith Koupal, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Abstract: Growth of yellow perch (Perca flavescens) was compared between four single species lakes comprised of yellow perch only and four mixed species lakes with pre-existing populations of yellow perch to determine if yellow perch only lakes can become self-sustaining and whether they are a feasible management option for creating new yellow perch fisheries in south-central Nebraska. Natural recruitment was observed in the yellow perch only lakes after less than a year. Mean lengths from the naturally recruited fish at age-0 in the yellow perch only lakes was faster, ranging from 84.7 (0.1) to 115.7 (0.5) millimeters and from 53.8 (0.2) to 76.3 (0.2) in the mixed species lakes. Mean lengths at age-1 in the yellow perch only lakes ranged from 194.0 (0.4) to 206.3 (0.3) and from 109.5 (0.9) to 131.8 (0.3) in the mixed species lakes. Mean lengths of yellow perch at age-1 in the yellow perch only lakes already exceeded that of age-2 yellow perch from the mixed species lakes. Mean lengths of age-2 yellow perch from the yellow perch only lakes were significantly longer than mean lengths of yellow perch from the mixed species lakes (F=257, df= 1,142, P< 0.001). Creating yellow perch only lakes is a feasible management option to establish harvestable yellow perch greater than the preferred harvestable size of 200 millimeters by the age of 2.
Title: Identifying Recruitment Bottlenecks for Age-0 Walleye in Northern Wisconsin Lakes
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
9:20 am - 9:40 am
Authors: Hadley Boehm, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit & Fisheries Analysis Center, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Dr. Daniel Isermann, Fisheries Analysis Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Dr. Gretchen Hansen, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Abstract: Understanding recruitment dynamics is important to managing exploited fish populations. Walleye Sander vitreus recruitment (measured as age-0 CPE in fall electrofishing) has declined in several northern Wisconsin lakes and the reasons for these declines is not known. The goal of our study was to identify potential recruitment bottlenecks for age-0 walleyes in two northern Wisconsin lakes where walleye recruitment has declined in recent years and compare these observations with two lakes where walleye recruitment has not declined. Our objectives were to determine if the following metrics differed between lakes with the two different recruitment histories: 1) population characteristics of adult walleyes; 2) spawn timing and relative egg density; 3) age-0 walleye CPE; 4) predation of larval walleye by panfish, 5) timing of age-0 walleye appearance in littoral zone; 6) diet composition of age-0 walleyes and 7) physical lake characteristics including temperature, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, and Secchi depth. The first year of results from this project will be summarized.
Title: Status and Trends of Glacial Lake Fish Communities in Indiana from 1986-2014: Spatial and Temporal Variation of Species-Specific Detection Probabilities
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
9:40 am - 10:00 am
Authors: Steven B. Donabauer, Michael A. Porto, Theodore J. Leverman, Jeremy D. Price — Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife
Abstract: The ability to strategize landscape-level actions for glacial lake fisheries is hindered by an insufficient resource inventory that adequately describes spatio-temporal variation. The objective of this research is to quantify long-term spatial variation for a species-specific metric: the probability of detection (POD). A stratified random study design was developed for 389 lakes greater than 5 acres. From 2010-14, 60 lakes were sampled with standardized effort that included 30 minutes of DC night electrofishing, two overnight gill net lifts, and two overnight trap net lifts. Surveys (N = 126) from 1986-2009 were retro-fitted to the study design and effort was standardized. The POD status for seven species is greater than 75%; between 50-74% for four species; 25-49% for 10 species; 1-24% for 27 species; 20 species went undetected during 2010-14 after being detected at least once from 1986-2009. Temporal analyses indicated relatively stable trends (< ? 2%, 5-year incremental change) for 53 of 68 species; increased trends (? +2%) for warmouth (+3%), hybrid sunfish and walleye (+2%); and decreased trends (? -2%) among the remaining 12 species: white sucker (-7%), golden shiner and pumpkinseed (-5%), green sunfish, lake chubsucker, and spotted sucker (-4%), white crappie (-3%), black bullhead, bowfin, northern pike, spotted gar and yellow perch (-2%). We recommend that these: (1) spatial data serve as regional standards that allow managers to compare individual survey results among all lakes; and (2) temporal data be used by strategic planners to define the measurable objectives needed to evaluate landscape-level sustainability or enhancement goals.
BREAK
Fish Management
Wednesday, February 11
10:40 am - 12:00 pm
Title: Aggregating Socioeconomic Factors Influence Fishing License Sales in Cook County, IL
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
10:40 am - 11:00 am
Authors: Xiaohan Zhang, University of Illinois; Craig A. Miller, Illinois Natural History Survey Prairie Research Institute University of Illinois
Abstract: Enhanced management of fishing activities could be attained by understanding factors influencing license sales. Previous studies suggest socioeconomic factors significantly influence participation in recreational activities and license sales. However, few of these studies connect socioeconomic status and license sales on an aggregated community level or spatial context. This study aims to examine the relationship between aggregated socioeconomic factors and fishing license sales in Cook County, Illinois. Principle component analysis was utilized to construct an index system with three sub-indices (Socioeconomic Status, Household Mobility and Age Index) on census tract level. Two regression methods (Linear and multinomial logistic) were applied to measure the quantitative relationship between the license sales and socioeconomic factors. Both models predicted that Household Mobility and Age Index positively influenced the fishing license sales. However, the two models differed in the relationship between the Socioeconomic Status and fishing license sales. Linear model predicted a linear negative correlation, whereas the multinomial logistic regression predicted a non-monotonic correlation.

Cluster maps were created to measure the spatial relationship between the license sales and socioeconomic factors. Combining the cluster maps and the regression results helps to detect the possible ""hot spots."" Further studies are required to explore the abnormal phenomenon in these areas. Better understanding of the special cases in hot spots is probably cable to guide the local license promotion.
Title: Creation and Evaluation of Indiana's New Urban Fishing Program: Go FishIN in the City
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
11:00 am - 11:20 am
Authors: Sandra Clark-Kolaks, Indiana DNR; Matt Petersen, Minnesota DNR
Abstract: An urban fishing program called Go FishIN in the City was created in 2013 to increase angling opportunities for residents that live in Indiana's highly populated cities. Twelve lakes were selected to take part in this new program and 5,000 large (12 to 16 in) channel catfish were stocked into these urban lakes multiple times throughout the spring. A roving-access creel and tandem hoop nets were used to evaluate fishing pressure and harvest. A total of 1,471 fish representing 15 species was collected in 18 hoop net series. Channel catfish was the most abundant species by number (43%), followed by bluegill (42%) and black crappie (4%). A total of 633 channel catfish was collected with a total weight of 430.7 lbs. A total of 24,044 anglers fished approximately 44,558 h throughout nine of the urban fishing program lakes that were creeled from April through August, 2013. The total catch of all urban fishing program lakes was 11,102 fish, of which 8,247 were harvested. Bluegill comprised 49% of the total harvest by number, followed by catfish (36%), and black and/or white crappie (10%). A total of 2,958 catfish were harvested out of all of the urban fishing sites creeled, and an additional 2,823 catfish were release during the survey period. Based on creel and hoop net sampling adjustments will be made to the program in 2014 to further improve channel catfish utilization and angler satisfaction.
Title: The Influence of a Fish Invasion on a Recreational Angling Network
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
11:20 am - 11:40 am
Authors: Christopher J. Chizinski, Nathaniel T. Stewart — 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; Dustin R. Martin, Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska; Jeffrey J. Jackson, Nebraska Game and Park Commission
Abstract: Invasive fish have a multitude of deleterious effects on aquatic ecosystems, including disruption of food web and nutrient dynamics. These disruptions often lead to fish community alterations and could potentially affect recreational angling as the number of species and their abundance changes. Superabundant populations of White Perch (Morone Americana) have become established in Nebraska reservoirs and can account for the majority (> 60%) of fish sampled. We examined the influence of the White Perch invasion on recreational angling in Branched Oak Lake, Nebraska from 1994 to 2014 using angler-catch bipartite networks. During this period, there were noticeable shifts in the relationships between what anglers targeted and what anglers caught in the reservoir. During 1994-1999 White Perch were caught by nearly all angler groups (e.g., walleye anglers, catfish anglers, crappie anglers), whereas during 2000-anglers targeting anything primarily caught 2014 White Perch. Since 2006, the number of species caught by anglers (both targeted and not targeted) has decreased and overlap among species caught by anglers targeting various species was reduced. The invasion of White Perch and the subsequent establishment of a high-density population resulted in a compartmentalized angler-catch network with less interaction among angler groups and the species they catch.
Fisheries Techniques
Wednesday, February 11
8:00 am - 10:00 am
Title: Developing a Reliable, Non-invasive Procedure for Estimating Egg Abundance in Black Bass Nests
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
8:00 am - 8:20 am
Authors: Mary Tate Bremigan, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University; Jason B. Smith, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University; Jan Michael Hessenauer, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Connecticut; Susan LaGory, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University
Abstract: Understanding factors underlying variation in reproductive success among individuals is highly relevant to population ecology and fisheries management. For nesting fishes, such as black bass, nest egg abundance may influence variation in reproductive contribution among males. We sought to develop a reliable, non-invasive procedure for estimating egg abundance in black bass nests, ultimately to assess causes and consequences of variation in nest egg abundance. During spring 2012 and 2013 we photographed 9 black bass nests and subsequently collected all possible eggs; "true" counts of all collected eggs ranged 1,408 to 13,055. Using nest photos with a superimposed grid, we categorized each grid cell through visual assessment of its percent coverage of eggs. Next we evaluated two egg estimation approaches. To estimate egg abundance in each grid cell using the "sub-count" method, we calculated mean egg density for each egg coverage category by visually counting eggs in a sub-set of cells. Then we multiplied the category density by cell area for each cell. For the "geometric" method, we estimated the total number of eggs that could fit in a grid cell based on grid cell size and egg size. We then multiplied each cell's category-specific percent egg coverage by the total possible egg number. The geographic method's nest egg abundance estimates explained far more variation (r2 = 28.5%) in "true" egg counts than did the sub-count method (r2 =8%). Researchers can readily use our approach to address individual- and population-level questions about black bass reproductive biology and management.
Title: Growth, Mortality, and Tag Retention of Banded Sculpin (Cottus carolinae) Implanted with Passive Integrated Transponder Tags
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
8:20 am - 8:40 am
Authors: Jacob G. Fernholz, Quinton E. Phelps — Missouri Department of Conservation, Big Rivers and Wetlands Field Station/Southeast Fisheries Regional Office, Southeast Missouri State University, Department of Biology; Jason W. Crites, Missouri Department of Conservation, Big Rivers and Wetlands Field Station/Southeast Fisheries Regional Office
Abstract: In order to make appropriate management decisions, fisheries scientists should know the life history and population dynamics of the species of interest. This information becomes increasingly difficult to obtain as the species becomes less accessible. Grotto Sculpin, Cottus specus, are a recently listed endangered, cave dwelling fish species that is difficult to sample as well as being rare in its environment. In order to understand more about this species' life history traits and quantify population demographics, a passive integrated transponder (PIT) tagging study was undertaken. The effects of PIT tagging Grotto Sculpin are currently unknown, as such, Banded Sculpin Cottus carolinae, were used as a surrogate due to genetic and morphological similarities. Banded Sculpin were implanted with 8 mm and 12 mm PIT tags to determine tag retention rates and monitor the effects of tagging on growth, tag retention, and mortality. Our results suggest sculpin implanted with 8mm tags exhibited higher growth, survival, and tag retention rates than those implanted with 12 mm tags. To this end, we recommend 8mm PIT tags as a feasible option for tagging small or juvenile sculpin (>40mm total length), with minimal impacts on growth and mortality.
Title: Telemetry in the Mississippi River: Challenges in an Unpredictable System
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
8:40 am - 9:00 am
Authors: Dave Herzog, Sara Tripp, Quinton Phelps — Big Rivers and Wetlands Field Station, Missouri Department of Conservation, Jackson, MO; Harry E. Brock, III, American Electric Power, Paducah KY
Abstract: Telemetry in large navigable water ways is challenging given impediments to technology. Even so, recent advances in telemetry receivers have provided a cost effective means for the continuous monitoring of fish within large navigable waterways. While stationary receivers provide fixed location monitoring, boat mounted telemetry provides portability thus allowing the researcher to move along with the animal. Each telemetry technique offers additive information about migratory fishes in large navigable rivers. However, some methods are impractical given financial constraints of researchers and other methods, while innovative, provide unreliable results. We used bridge piers, bottom stands, and river buoys to deploy stationary receivers. We used jon-boats as well as towboats for boat mounted telemetry. We present results of each telemetry method based on noise levels and subsequent range detection and describe the benefits that each method provides for tracking migratory fishes in large navigable water ways.
Title: A Comprehensive Evaluation of Methods Used to Estimate Walleye Ages
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
9:00 am - 9:20 am
Authors: Daniel Isermann, U.S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit and Fisheries Analysis Center, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Ryan Koenigs, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Fisheries Management; Connie Isermann, Fisheries Analysis Center, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Abstract: Estimating ages is an important step in monitoring and managing walleye fisheries and Wisconsin DNR staff assign ages to hundreds of walleyes each year using dorsal spines. Dorsal spines tend to yield younger ages than otoliths for older walleyes and these discrepancies could result in meaningful differences in growth and mortality metrics. Furthermore, there are a variety of methods used to prepare spines and otoliths for age estimation and it is not known if these methods provide similar age estimates. Using otoliths and dorsal spines collected from more than 700 walleyes across the state of Wisconsin, we determined that: 1) using whole dorsal spines yields similar ages to sectioned spines; 2) ages from whole otoliths should only be used if ? 3 annuli are visible; 3) on average, spines and otoliths yielded similar ages for females = 22 in TL and for males = 18 in TL and 4) differences in age assignments between structures can result in meaningful differences in estimates of total annual mortality and asymptotic maximum TLs, but differences in mean TLs of fish at ages = 5 were generally similar.
Title: Predicting Abundance of Adult Muskellunge in Northern Wisconsin Lakes
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
9:20 am - 9:40 am
Authors: Janice Kerns, Fisheries Analysis Center, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Daniel Isermann, U.S. Geological Survey, Fisheries Analysis Center, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Timothy Simonson, Bureau of Fisheries Management, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Joseph Hennessy, Bureau of Fisheries Management, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Thomas Cichosz, Bureau of Fisheries Management, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Abstract: Most Wisconsin muskellunge Esox masquinongy populations occur within the Ceded Territory of northern Wisconsin, where mixed fisheries consisting of a recreational hook-and-line fishery and a tribal spearing fishery occur. Safe harvest levels for each population are based on estimates of adult muskellunge abundance. Estimates of adult muskellunge abundance used to establish safe harvest levels are obtained from mark-recapture surveys that are conducted on a few lakes over a two year interval. These estimates are considered valid estimates of abundance for up to two years after the initial marking of fish. If a recent population estimate is not available for an individual lake, a linear regression model is used to predict adult abundance from lake surface area using existing population estimates from all lakes. A similar approach is used to predict abundance of walleyes, but the amount of variation in adult abundance that is explained by lake surface area is much higher for walleyes than for muskellunge. Therefore, the objective of our study is to determine if alternative models can be used to explain greater variation in the abundance of adult muskellunge within northern Wisconsin lakes than the current linear model that relies solely on lake surface area as a predictor variable.
Title: Development of Sampling Techniques to Detect and Capture Invasive Carps
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
9:40 am - 10:00 am
Authors: Wyatt Doyle, Jeff Finley — U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Columbia Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office (FWCO); Emily Pherigo*, DLH Corp, Columbia FWCO; Skyler Schlick, DLH Corp, Columbia FWCO; Jeremiah Smith, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Columbia FWCO
Abstract: Invasive carps, specifically Bighead Carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) and Silver Carp (H. molitrix), are spreading throughout Midwestern waterways. Traditional fisheries techniques have mixed results when sampling these aquatic nuisances yet fish capture is essential to management objectives. The Columbia Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (FWCO) and Innovative Net Systems have partnered to develop and evaluate experimental techniques designed to detect, monitor, and remove invasive carps at multiple life stages. Many experimental designs have been tested and several show promise, including an electrified butterfly frame trawl, called the Paupier, and the mid-column trawl. Adult Silver Carp were 90% of fish captured with the electrified Paupier during day and night sampling in a tributary of the Illinois River. In late summer 2014, night sampling yielded higher adult silver carp catch per effort (102 fish/2 minutes) than day sampling (67 fish/2 minutes). The Paupier, with and without electricity, and mid-column trawl were successful in capturing young of year invasive carps (YOYs) in backwater habitats of the Illinois River. Regardless of gear, YOYs measuring 30-70 mm accounted for over 70% of fish captured in July 2014. The Paupier without electricity yielded the highest catch per effort (1,980 YOY/2 minutes) followed by the electrified Paupier (1,251 YOY/2 minutes) and the mid-column trawl (298 YOY/2 minutes). As we evaluate the efficacy and efficiency of these techniques, testing continues in varying habitats and environmental conditions. This presentation further discusses pilot studies, experimental techniques, challenges encountered, and lessons learned.
BREAK
Fisheries Techniques
Wednesday, February 11
10:40 am - 12:00 pm
Title: Influence of Gear Type and Analytical Methodology on Fish Assemblage Characterizations in Temperate Lakes
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
10:40 am - 11:00 am
Authors: Christopher Sullivan, David Coulter, Zach Feiner, Tomas H๖๖k — Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University; Steven Donabauer, Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Abstract: Gill nets (GN), night electrofishing (NEF) and trap nets (TN) are commonly used gears to characterize lentic fish assemblages, and the resulting data can be analyzed using a variety of approaches. Thus, a thorough analysis of the implications of using different gears and analytical methods for characterizing fish assemblages should inform monitoring activities. Fish assemblages were sampled with all three gears from 154 lakes and evaluated using indices of species composition, pair-wise community similarity comparisons and multivariate ordination. Species richness was highest for NEF (mean = 8.1 species, SD = 2.7) followed by gill nets (mean = 6.1 species, SD = 2.3) and trap nets (mean = 5.8 species, SD = 2.4). Gill nets had higher Shannon-Wiener diversity (mean = 1.4, SD = 0.4) and Shannon-Wiener evenness (mean = 0.8, SD = 0.1) than either NEF or TN. Pair-wise comparisons between gears revealed that 1) richness was positively correlated across gears, 2) diversity and evenness indices were unrelated across gears and 3) NEF and TN captured similar species assemblages. In contrast, multivariate ordination analyses (non-metric multi-dimensional scaling) revealed that GN and NEF samples characterized assemblages similarly along gradients of piscivore abundance and littoral to pelagic species, while trap nets assemblages were dominated centrarchids. These results demonstrate how the methods used to evaluate fish assemblages can strongly affect conclusions as to which gears uniquely characterize assemblages and which are somewhat redundant.
Title: Evaluating Variable Catchability in Standardized Largemouth Bass Electrofishing Surveys
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
11:00 am - 11:20 am
Authors: Stephen M. Tyszko, Matt A. Hangsleben, Richard D. Zweifel — Ohio Division of Wildlife
Abstract: Varying catcahbility (proportion of stock captured per unit of effort) can decrease power to detect changes in abundance with fisheries survey data, and increase the probability of a type I error. Resource agencies adopt standardized sampling protocol to reduce sampling variability, although the efficacy of standardization is rarely evaluated. We estimated largemouth bass electrofishing catchability of four length groups in two small Ohio reservoirs with mark-recapture techniques over a series of sampling events that spanned the Ohio Division of Wildlife (DOW) standardized sampling window (mid-April - mid-May) and followed standardized protocol. We then used observed variability in catchability to simulate statistical power to detect 50% changes in abundance and the probability of type I error under varying and constant catchability for each reservoir. In both reservoirs, catchability was relatively stable inside the standardized sampling window (0.17 to 0.25, 0.21 to 0.28) and declined later. Catchability was similar among length groups. Simulations showed that statistical power was similar between variable and constant catchability scenarios. Simulations also revealed that the probability of a type I error increased with sample size when catchability varied, although it remained below 0.15. When comparing two single years statistical power was low (= 0.65), but was high (= 0.80) when comparing five-year blocks, highlighting the importance of long-term monitoring. These results suggest that catchability is not variable enough to bias survey results in small Ohio reservoirs when data are collected using the DOW standard protocol. Further research is needed to understand how catchability varies within and among different types of systems and across years.
Title: Tagging Fishers, Not Fish: Capture-recapture Methods for Estimating Participation in Specialized Recreational Fisheries
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
11:20 am - 11:40 am
Authors: Mitchell Zischke, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University; Shane Griffiths, CSIRO Department of Marine and Atmospheric Research, Australia
Abstract: Recreational fisheries often have highly specialized subcomponents that use specific methods to target particular species (e.g. ice fishing, game fishing). These specialized recreational fisheries are gaining popularity in response to increased affordability of new fishing technologies (e.g. sonar, electric reels) and knowledge exchange between fishers (e.g. internet forums). Specialized fishers comprise a "hard-to-reach" population, who are rare within the wider community and cannot be cost-effectively located due to an absence of a complete list frame (e.g. non-specific fishing licenses). However, estimates of participation in these fisheries are essential for expansion of broader survey estimates. Capture-recapture methods were developed to estimate participation in a specialized pelagic sport fishery off eastern Australia. Innovative survey methods (i.e. time-location sampling) were used to "capture" and subsequently "recapture" fishers within a sampling universe. Closed and open capture-recapture models proved suitable for estimating fisher participation; however large variance resulting from few recaptures affected extrapolated total catch estimates. While further refinement is needed, this case study demonstrates the usefulness of capture-recapture methods for recreational fishing surveys, particularly for hard-to-reach specialized fisheries.
Symposium- Bayesian Inference in Fisheries and Wildlife Ecology
Wednesday, February 11
8:00 am - 10:00 am
Title: Introduction to Bayesian Inference and Why the Posterior is More Interesting Than p-Values
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
8:00 am - 8:40 am
Authors: Jason Doll, Thomas Lauer — Ball State University
Abstract: Bayesian inference is becoming a popular method of statistical analysis in a variety of disciplines. In contrast to traditional methods (i.e., frequentist inference) Bayesian inference fundamentally differs in its definition of probability, how data are used, and how parameters are interpreted to make conclusions about a particular hypothesis. This presentation will provide an introduction to Bayesian inference in an ecological framework. Specifically, we will discuss the major distinctions between Bayesian and frequentist inference including; how data and parameters are used, how the two methods evaluate hypotheses, and how the results differ. Further, the advantages and disadvantages of taking a Bayesian approach towards data analysis and how results of Bayesian inference are interpreted will be discussed.
Title: Using a Bayesian Hierarchical Modeling Approach to Analyze Patterns in Avian Abundance in Relation to Oil and Gas Development in the Williston Basin
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
8:40 am - 9:00 am
Authors: Max Post van der Burg, USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Abstract: A recent increase in oil and gas development in the Northern Great Plains of North America has piqued concerns among wildlife managers because of the potential effects of development on wildlife populations. I analyzed stop-level Breeding Bird Survey count data for patterns in grassland bird abundance in relationship to increasing oil and gas development within the North Dakota portion of the Williston Basin. I used a Bayesian hierarchical modeling approach that allowed fitting of multiple models that captured temporal variation in counts, patterns of oil and gas development and other land uses and spatial autocorrelation. Using a Bayesian model averaging approach, I then estimated the posterior probability of each model and used those models to make spatio-temporal predictions of abundance for various species. I will discuss preliminary results in terms of the management implications for grassland birds and in terms of the degree of modeling flexibility that a Bayesian hierarchical approach affords.
Title: Applications of Bayesian Hierarchical Modeling in Fisheries
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
9:00 am - 9:20 am
Authors: Zhenming Su, Institute for Fisheries Research, Michigan
Abstract: Use published applications to demonstrate how to use Bayesian hierarchical modeling (BHM) to solve fisheries problems.
Title: Bayesian Shrinkage Estimators in Fisheries: Improving Population Estimates by Moving to the Middle
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
9:20 am - 9:40 am
Authors: Mark R. DuFour, Song S. Qian, Christine M. Mayer — University of Toledo; Christopher S. Vandergoot, Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Abstract: Fisheries scientists must often, support management actions with sparse and variable data. Estimates of important population parameters are often highly uncertain. However, these estimates can be improved by using a shrinkage estimator (i.e., Bayesian hierarchical modeling), which shares information among groups. A phenomenon called Stein's paradox results in estimates that are closer to the true values as all group-specific estimates are drawn towards the overall mean. Fisheries data is inherently hierarchical (i.e., grouped), and within group variation is often greater than between group variation. We conducted a simulation study, which showed that a shrinkage estimator (Bayesian hierarchical model; BHE) matched or outperformed a maximum likelihood estimator (arithmetic mean; MLE) over a range of variation scenarios. Annual relative abundance estimates are an important component of stock assessment models, which are often used to determine harvest quotas. We applied BHE to walleye abundance estimates in Lake Erie; BHE resulted in a smaller estimation error between methods. Additionally, by sharing information among groups, the temporal trend in the data was reduced when using a BHE. The improvement in estimate precision and adjustment in temporal trend using BHE will improve Lake Erie walleye population estimates thereby providing better information for harvest quotas. Shrinkage estimators, such as Bayesian hierarchical methods, can be applied to any basic fisheries model that uses grouped data; they reduce uncertainty in parameter estimates and should ultimately improve fisheries management decisions.
Title: Non-stationary Recruitment Dynamics of Rainbow Smelt: The Influence of Environmental Variables and Variation in Size Structure and Length-at-Maturation
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
9:40 am - 10:00 am
Authors: Zachary S. Feiner, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University; David B. Bunnell, U.S. Geological Survey; Tomas O. H๖๖k, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University; Charles P. Madenjian, U.S. Geological Survey; David M. Warner, U.S. Geological Survey; Paris D. Collingsworth, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University
Abstract: Fish stock-recruitment dynamics may be difficult to elucidate due to nonstationary relationships caused by shifting environmental conditions and fluctuations in important vital rates such as individual growth or maturation. The Great Lakes have experienced environmental stressors that may have changed population demographics and stock-recruitment relationships while causing the declines of several prey fish species, including rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax). We investigated changes in the size, maturation, and recruitment dynamics of rainbow smelt in Lake Michigan over the past four decades using USGS-GLSC bottom trawl data collected from 1973-2012. Based on regression analyses, mean lengths and length-at-maturation of rainbow smelt significantly declined over time, and we accounted for these declines in developing annual indices of stock size and recruitment. To evaluate recruitment variation, we used Bayesian inference to fit both a standard Ricker stock-recruitment model and a Kalman filter-random walk (KF-RW) model to the rainbow smelt stock-recruitment data. The KF-RW model incorporated nonstationarity in stock productivity by allowing the productivity term to vary over time. This model explained nearly four times more variation in recruitment than the stationary Ricker model, and indicated that the productivity of the Lake Michigan stock has increased. By accounting for this nonstationarity, we were able to identify significant variations in stock productivity, evaluate its importance to rainbow smelt recruitment, and speculate on potential environmental causes for the shift. Our results suggest that investigating mechanisms driving nonstationarity in stock-recruit relationships can provide valuable insights into temporal variation in fish population dynamics.
BREAK
Symposium- Bayesian Inference in Fisheries and Wildlife Ecologys
Wednesday, February 11
10:40 am - 12:00 pm
Title: Accounting for Imperfect Detection in Ecology: A Quantitative Review
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
10:40 am - 11:00 am
Authors: Kenneth F. Kellner, Robert K. Swihart — Purdue University
Abstract: Detection in studies of species abundance and distribution is often imperfect. Assuming perfect detection introduces bias into estimation that can weaken inference upon which understanding and policy are based. Despite availability of numerous methods designed to address this assumption, many refereed papers in ecology fail to account for non-detection error. We conducted a quantitative literature review of 537 ecological articles to measure the degree to which studies of different taxa, at various scales, and over time have accounted for imperfect detection. Overall, just 23% of articles accounted for imperfect detection. The probability that an article incorporated imperfect detection increased with time and varied among taxa studied; studies of vertebrates were more likely to incorporate imperfect detection. Among articles that reported detection probability, 70% contained per-survey estimates of detection that were less than 0.5. For articles in which constancy of detection was tested, 86% reported significant variation. We hope that our findings prompt more ecologists to consider carefully the detection process when designing studies and analyzing results, especially for sub-disciplines where incorporation of imperfect detection in study design and analysis so far has been lacking.
Title: Reverend Bayes wants you! Opportunities and obstacles for fish and wildlife professionals to improve statistical fluency
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
11:00 am - 11:20 am
Authors: Robert K. Swihart, Kenneth F. Kellner, and Nathanael I. Lichti, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University
Abstract: Rapid increases in computing power have enabled steady advances in statistical analysis and allowed students, researchers, and managers to move beyond traditional statistical methods that often are ill-suited for ecological problems. Notable among “modern” statistical approaches, maximum likelihood (ML) methods are commonly used to estimate parameters and evaluate hypotheses. Bayesian methods also are part of the modern statistical arsenal, but an analysis of publication trends over the past 30 years indicates that their adoption has been slower in our profession. We believe that adoption has lagged due to “prior inertia”, i.e., a legacy of statistical training that, until fairly recently, failed to address Bayesian methods. Lack of straightforward, easy-to-use software also has impeded adoption, because users need some programming knowledge and a good grasp of underlying statistical models. To overcome these obstacles will require new attitudes and approaches to how we teach and learn statistics. We offer suggestions for students and practicing professionals to improve statistical fluency. First, we compare and contrast traditional, likelihood-based, and Bayesian approaches. No single analysis framework offers a panacea, and traditional methods perform well in many applications. But in general the Bayesian framework is more flexible, can accommodate complex, process-based ecological models, and is more useful in decision analysis, risk assessment, and adaptive management contexts. Next, we suggest practical steps that can be taken to improve knowledge of Bayesian methods and their application. Finally, we consider future challenges for Bayesian methods including model selection, multi-model inference, and biases against the inclusion of prior information.
Symposium - Asian Carp
Monday, February 9
10:40 am - 12:00 pm
Title: Laboratory Experiments Using Synthetic Silver Carp Eggs to Evaluate Critical Hydrodynamic Conditions for Egg Suspension
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
10:40 am - 11:00 am
Authors: Tatiana Garcia, University of Illinois; P. Ryan Jackson, U.S.Geological Survey - Illinois Water Science Center; Elizabeth A. Murphy, U.S.Geological Survey - Illinois Water Science Center; Marcelo H. Garcia, University of Illinois
Abstract: Asian carp eggs are semi-buoyant and must remain suspended in the water to survive. The hydrodynamic conditions at which the eggs are transported and kept in suspension are not well characterized. Analysis of the transport and dispersal patterns of silver carp eggs facilitates the development and implementation of control strategies to target carp at the early life stage. We recently performed laboratory experiments using synthetic eggs mimicking the physical properties of water-hardened silver carp eggs. The density of the water was carefully adjusted using salt to ensure that the synthetic eggs have the same terminal fall velocity and density of real eggs. Experiments were performed in both stagnant (vertical column) and moving water (recirculating flume). Experiments in stagnant water were performed with the purpose of calculating the terminal fall velocity of the synthetic eggs. Synthetic eggs were allowed to drift under different flow conditions in a temperature-controlled recirculating flume with a sediment bed. Drifting behavior, suspension conditions, and settling characteristics of synthetic eggs were observed and quantified using a high-speed camera and particle tracking algorithms. At high velocities eggs were suspended and distributed through the water column. Eggs that touched the sand bed were re-entrained by the flow. Eggs saltated when they touched the bed, especially at moderate velocities and with a relatively flat bed. At lower velocities some settling of the eggs was observed. When bedforms were present the eggs were trapped in the sediment bed near the walls of the flume and in the lee of bedforms.
Title: Application of the FluEgg Model to Simulate Egg Development and Transport from a May 2013 Observed Spawning of Silver Carp in the Illinois River
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
11:00 am - 11:20 am
Authors: James J. Duncker, US Geological Survey Illinois Water Science Cente; Tatiana Garcia, University of Illinois
Abstract: On May 22, 2013, biologists with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) documented silver carp exhibiting spawning behavior in the Marseilles Pool of the Illinois River. At that time, this was the first documentation of silver carp spawning so far upstream. The USGS-Illinois Water Science Center deployed field crews to the river reach identified by the IDNR biologists. Discharge measurements using an acoustic Doppler current profiler were made throughout the Marseilles Pool to define the hydraulic characteristics during the spawning event. Paired transects of river discharge measurements were made at channel cross-sections spaced at approximately 2,500 meters. Longitudinal transects were collected between cross-section locations. Near-surface water temperatures were collected throughout the day during the hydroacoustic measurements and ranged from 18-19 ฐ Celsius. The FluEgg model (Garcia and others, 2013) was used to simulate the development and transport of silver carp eggs for this event. The FluEgg model combines laboratory data on the development of silver carp eggs at different temperatures with river hydrodynamic data to simulate the transport and dispersion of silver carp eggs. Based on observed water temperatures collected during this event, the silver carp eggs are projected to require approximately 53 hours to hatch into larvae (Chapman, 2006; Chapman and George, 2011; George and Chapman, 2013 ). The FluEgg simulation results indicate the mass of silver carp eggs hatched downstream of the Marseilles Lock and Dam and in the Starved Rock Pool. These results can be used to target egg and larvae sampling and design control strategies.
Title: Age-0 Silver Carp Daily Growth, Hatch Date Timing and Abundance in the Middle Mississippi River and the Associated Tributaries
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
11:20 am - 11:40 am
Authors: Kevin Haupt, Quinton Phelps — Missouri Department of Conservation and Southeast Missouri State University
Abstract: Understanding early life history attributes of silver carp, Hypophthalmichthys molitrix, could provide insight into the complex mechanisms that structure the expansion of this population and could provide insight into potential approaches for management. Therefore, understanding factors that influence hatch date, daily growth and survival during this critical life stage is crucial to the management of silver carp. Thus, the objective of this study was to assess these early life history characteristics of age-0 silver carp in the Middle Mississippi River and eight associated tributaries. Growth rates and hatch dates were derived using otoliths and larval densities garnered from captures using two bow-mounted ichthyoplankton nets (.5-m diameter; 2-m length; 500-ตm mesh). Sampling occurred from late May into October, with over 300 samples collected in the Middle Mississippi River and over 300 samples collected among the eight tributaries. Overall, peak catches of age-0 silver carp in the Middle Mississippi River and the tributaries spanned from the middle of June into July. Larval silver carp were captured in every month in the Middle Mississippi River, indicating favorable spawning conditions throughout the sampling period. This information is vital to determine relative contribution these tributaries have to the overall silver carp population and determine environmental conditions favorable to spawning, growth and survival.
Title: Seasonal Variation of Silver Carp Egg Development in Upper Mississippi and Des Moines Rivers
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
11:40 am - 12:00 pm
Authors: Carlos Camacho, Christopher Sullivan, Michael J. Weber — Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Iowa State University; Clay L. Pierce, U. S. Geological Survey, Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Abstract: Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) are an invasive species that have been expanding their range throughout the Mississippi River basin since their introduction in the 1970s. Further range expansion and establishment is dependent upon the ability of adults to find suitable spawning habitat and reproduce. Impounded sections of the Upper Mississippi River may not provide adequate spawning habitat due to altered flow regimes from dam operations, whereas, free flowing tributaries in Iowa connected to impounded sections of the Upper Mississippi River may provide the necessary requirements for spawning promoting Silver Carp range expansion. However, spawning activity in these tributary systems has not been evaluated. The objectives of this study were to compare Silver Carp gonadosomatic index (GSI) and gonad development between the Des Moines and Mississippi rivers. Silver Carp were collected monthly in the Mississippi River in pool 20 and the Des Moines River from April to October, 2014. Gonads were categorized by developmental stage, removed, and weighed. Peak GSIs were observed in May for the Mississippi River and June for the Des Moines River while lowest GSIs were observed in July for both rivers. Female gonad stages progressed from full to spent ovaries from June to July for both rivers. Based on seasonal changes in gonad staging and GSI, spawning may have occurred in the Mississippi River and Des Moines River during the month of June. Egg and larval samples were collected concurrently with adults to further evaluate Silver Carp reproduction. Additional adult, egg, and larval sampling will occur in 2015.
BREAK
Symposium - Asian Carp
Monday, February 9
1:20 pm - 3:00 pm
Title: A Comparison of Silver Carp Habitat Availability in a 10-km Stretch of the Wabash River
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
1:20 pm - 1:40 pm
Authors: Luke Etchison, Mark Pyron — Ball State University
Abstract: Silver carp (Hypopthalmichthys molitrix) is an invasive species of growing concern in the United States. Silver carp directly compete with larval fish and planktivores, including bigmouth buffalo and gizzard shad. Ecological niche modeling of silver carp has provided detailed habitat information and niche overlap with competing species. However, temporal variation in preferable habitat is rarely investigated. We evaluated available habitat for silver carp for a 10-km stretch of the Wabash River during a dry year (2012), a typical year (2013), and a wet year (2014). Temporal variation of available habitat will allow us to further understand invasion risks of silver carp.
Title: Total Range and Habitat Use of Bigheaded Carp in the Wabash River, IN
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
1:40 pm - 2:00 pm
Authors: Austin R. Prechtel*, Purdue University; Alison A. Coulter, Purdue University; Luke Etchison, Ball State University; P. Ryan Jackson, USGS; Elizabeth A. Murphy, USGS; Reuben R. Goforth, Purdue University
Abstract: Since the 1970's, bigheaded carps (Hypophthalmichthys spp.) and their hybrids have spread throughout much of the lower and middle Mississippi River basin. Concern over their invasion has led to many efforts to assess their ecology and impacts. Total range size can be used as a way to assess habitat needs and use of these fishes, as well as provide insight when examining potential impacts on other species. We monitored the movements of 297 bigheaded carps over a 4-year period using both active and passive Vemco acoustic telemetry. Tracking data were imported into Arcmap 10.1 where both summer (May-August) and year-long total ranges were determined using maximum displacement techniques. We compared resulting total ranges among years and also between sexes and species where these characteristics were known. Points were also used to examine habitat use related to water temperature, water velocity, and substrate. Total ranges were correlated with fish total length and river gage height, although total ranges were not different between male and female fishes for year-long or summer movements. Summer total range was significantly correlated with fish total length, but this correlation did not hold for year-long total range. The total ranges of bighead carp, silver carp, and hybrids of these species showed no differences regardless of the time frame considered.
Title: Seasonal Sampling Dynamics of Silver Carp in Southeast Iowa Rivers
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
2:00 pm - 2:20 pm
Authors: Christopher Sullivan*, Carlos Camacho, Michael J. Weber, Clay L. Pierce — Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Iowa State University
Abstract: Since their introduction in the 1970s, Silver Carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix have spread throughout the Mississippi River basin and become one of the most recognizable invasive species in North America. Management of any species relies on an accurate understanding of population characteristics and dynamics. However, seasonal variation associated with sampling Silver Carp is unknown. Sampling strategies employed during peak densities would facilitate Silver Carp assessment and management, improving monitoring and removal techniques. Our objective was to evaluate seasonal sampling variation for Silver Carp captured with trammel nets and electrofishing in southeast Iowa rivers. Silver Carp were collected monthly (April - October 2014) from four locations in backwater and channel border habitats in the Des Moines and Mississippi rivers. Trammel net catches were lower compared to electrofishing across months and sites. Catch rates (CPUEs) in both gears exhibited a bimodal distribution, with peak catch rates in early summer and mid-fall and reduced catch rates in July during periods of high river discharge. Proportional size distributions (PSD, PSD-P) of Silver Carp captured with electrofishing varied spatially but not temporally: size distributions of Silver Carp captured closer to the Mississippi River were generally larger compared with upstream locations. Low number of Silver Carp captured in trammel nets (n= 64) precluded calculating PSD values with this gear. Additional sampling will take place during 2015 but preliminary results suggest electrofishing catch rates of Silver Carp are dependent upon river discharge and are highest during low discharge periods in early summer and mid-fall. Collectively, these results will improve standardized sampling strategies at state- and region-wide scales.
Title: Acoustic Telemetry of Bigheaded Carps in the Ohio River
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
2:20 pm - 2:40 pm
Authors: Jeffrey Stewart, Samuel Finney — U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Carterville Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office
Abstract: Bigheaded carps are expanding their geographic ranges throughout the central United States. In 2013 we began to study the movements of Bighead and Silver Carp in the Ohio River in cooperation with partners from the Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia natural resources agencies. Using acoustic telemetry, we are tracking individually tagged carp near the upstream limit of their present distribution. An array of acoustic receivers extends from Markland Lock and Dam near Warsaw, Kentucky up to the Willow Island Lock and Dam near Marietta, Ohio. We present the preliminary results we have gathered to date and describe our Ohio River Asian carp project moving forward.
Title: Hydroacoustic Assessment of Temporal Patterns in Fish Abundance and Spatial Distribution Near the CSSC Electric Fish Barrier
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
2:40 pm - 3:00 pm
Authors: Jeremiah J. Davis*, Samuel T. Finney, Robert L. Simmonds — U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Carterville Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office
Abstract: A series of large electric fish barriers exists in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (CSSC) to prevent dispersal of fish species between the Mississippi and Great Lakes basins. Information on the abundance and spatial distribution of fish below the electric barrier system is important to barrier management because it allows operational and maintenance decisions to be made in sync with potential risk factors. Mobile split beam hydroacoustic fish surveys were conducted in the CSSC and lower Des Plaines River below the electric dispersal barriers to illuminate both diel and seasonally varying patterns in fish abundance and spatial distribution. Previous research conducted by our group suggests that fish abundance is significantly greater during summer and fall directly below the barrier system. Here, we assess changes in abundance and distribution patterns throughout twenty four hour periods directly below the barriers in the spring, summer, and fall. We also quantify and compare abundance and spatial distribution of fish in Lockport, Brandon Rd., and Dresden Island pools on a seasonal basis. Results suggest that fish abundance directly below the barriers is significantly greater (ANOVA F=6.271, df=22, P= 0.008) at night. We also found significant differences in fish abundance between river pools and between seasons. The findings from this study will allow better informed management of the electric dispersal barrier system and provide insights on fish population dynamics in the CSSC and lower Des Plaines River.
BREAK
Symposium - Asian Carp
Monday, February 9
3:40 pm - 5:00 pm
Title: Using a Multi-Tiered Approach to Investigate the Asian Carp Invasion
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
3:40 pm - 4:00 pm
Authors: Quinton E. Phelps, Missouri Department of Conservation, Southeast Missouri State University; Sara J. Tripp, Missouri Department of Conservation; Daniel James, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office; Robert A. Hrabik, David P. Herzog — Missouri Department of Conservation
Abstract: Understanding fish community interactions are a critical component of large river ecology, especially the interactions of nonindigenous fishes with native fauna. In particular, the effects of introduced silver carp on native large river fishes have received little attention despite the apparent relevance to invasion ecology. The objective of this study was to determine population-level interactions of silver carp on native fishes in the Mississippi River and the associated floodplain. Specifically, we used data collected by the Long Term Resource Monitoring program (LTRM) and the Missouri Department of Conservation from the Mississippi River Basin. We also sampled four Mississippi River floodplain lakes which had varying abundances of silver carp to evaluate the response in fish community composition after a silver carp invasion following the catastrophic flood of 2011. Controlled laboratory experiments were also conducted to determine the potential mechanisms structuring the relationship between silver carp and native fishes. Results from long-term monitoring of the Mississippi River fishery suggest that silver carp relative abundance has increased while relative abundance of native fishes has declined. As a quantitative measure of a potentially limiting resource, we found that silver carp condition has remained fairly consistent while bigmouth buffalo and gizzard shad condition has declined. Furthermore, floodplain fish community was altered over time in locations of high silver carp abundance. Correspondingly, the results of our controlled laboratory mechanistic experiments suggest that silver carp are likely negatively influencing native fishes through competition for prey resources. Based on the results of this study, silver carp are likely adversely influencing native fishes (i.e., potentially creating a limiting resource through competition), and because of this management efforts should be directed at reducing silver carp abundance to subsequently rehabilitate native fish species and communities.
Title: It's in Their Nature: Using the Early Life History Characteristics of Asian Carps for the Development of Control Methods
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
4:00 pm - 4:20 pm
Authors: Duane C. Chapman, USGS-Columbia Environmental Research Center; Curt E. Byrd, Five Rivers LLC; Tatiana Garcia, University of Illinois; Amy E. George, USGS-Columbia Environmental Research Center; Cari-Ann Hayer, USGS-Columbia Environmental Research Center; Brent C. Knights, USGS-Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center; James H. Larson, USGS-Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center; Elizabeth A. Murphy, USGS-Illinois Water Science Center
Abstract: Asian carps (bighead, silver, black, and grass carps) typically spawn in turbulent portions of rivers, and the embryos develop while drifting in the water column. The eggs are heavier than water but are kept in the drift by turbulence. After hatching, the larvae drift in the current until gas bladder inflation, when they begin to leave the drift and search out nursery habitats. These habits provide opportunities for targeting large numbers of fish. Recruitment of Asian carps is extremely variable, and year class strength is most likely influenced by hydraulics, hydrology, and landscape conditions that provide or fail to provide the needs for the eggs, larvae, and early juvenile carp. Manipulation of hydraulics and availability of nursery habitats may provide control methods. Recent and current research addresses details of the Asian carp early life history and has provided new tools for understanding these species. This knowledge creates the potential for new control methods that leverage the early life history of carp, and also should provide information useful for targeting of other control methods currently in use or under development. We present several examples of how this new information could be used in development of control methods.
Title: Asian Carp Expansion in the Mississippi River: Focusing on the Leading Edge of the Stronghold
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
4:20 pm - 4:40 pm
Authors: Sara Tripp, Missouri Department of Conservation; Kevin Haupt, Quinton Phelps — Missouri Department of Conservation & Southeast Missouri State University
Abstract: Asian carp have been expanding their range up the Mississippi River; however abundance is thought to be higher in the lower reaches which are in closer proximity to the Illinois River. However the Asian carp population has a stronghold in the Upper Mississippi River, with Lock and Dam 19 at Keokuk, IA being the only barrier to slow the expansion further up the Mississippi River. As Asian carp abundance increases below Lock and Dam 19, it is important to investigate potential means of control that will prevent or delay the complete invasion of the Mississippi River above Lock and Dam 19. Silver and bighead carp were collected below Lock and Dam 19 to determine population dynamics at the leading edge of the invasion. This information was then used to model the population and determine potential ways to control the Asian carp population and prevent continued expansion. Asian carp were also implanted with ultrasonic transmitters to evaluate rate of passage through the lock chamber at Lock and Dam 19. This information could be used to determine whether potential barriers need to be placed at the entrance of the lock chamber entrance to prevent Asian carp passage upstream into pool 19.
Title: Seasonal Changes in the Diet and Diet Overlap of Bigheaded Carps with Native Species, Bigmouth Buffalo and Gizzard Shad
Date/Time: Monday, February 9
4:40 pm - 5:00 pm
Authors: Alison A Coulter*, Purdue University; Heidi K Swanson, University of Waterloo; Jon J Amberg, USGS; Reuben R. Goforth, Purdue University
Abstract: Invasive species are a global issue with myriad impacts on their invaded ecosystem. One of the potential impacts is increased competition with native species. Bigheaded carps (Hypophthalmichthys spp.), including Silver Carp, Bighead Carp and their hybrids, are invasive species that have rapidly expanded their range through the Mississippi River basin. As large, highly efficient planktivores, these species have the potential to negatively impact native planktivorous fishes. Previous work has shown declines in native planktivore abundances with increasing bigheaded carp densities and some diet overlap. However, invasive species may have varying impacts across invaded ecosystems and through time. As the phyto- and zooplankton communities change through the year, diet overlap between bigheaded carps and native species may also change. The goal of this study was to examine changes in the diet of bigheaded carps and how these changes may contribute to shifts in diet overlap with native species. Bigheaded carps, Bigmouth Buffalo, and Gizzard Shad were collected from the Wabash River in fall 2012 and spring and summer 2013, and white muscle as well as gut contents were collected. Stable isotopes, d15N and d13C, were used to examine diet over a period of several months. Bayesian ellipses were used to compare isotopic data and indicated that Silver Carp and hybrids did not have different diets. Additionally, diet was broader over the summer, but overlap with native species was relatively small. Gut contents were identified using next-generation sequencing for additional comparison of diets.
Symposium - Asian Carp
Tuesday, February 10
10:40 am - 12:00 pm
Title: Analysis of Blue Catfish (Ictalurus Furcatus) Gut Contents: An Assessment of Feeding Adaptation in Response to Asian Carp Invasion in the Mississippi River Basin
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
10:40 am - 11:00 am
Authors: Tad W. Locher, Western Illinois University Department of Biological Sciences; James T. Lamer, Kibbe Field Station, Western Illinois University
Abstract: Blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) and other associated members of Ictaluridae have been studied extensively in their native environment, and their prey selection has been analyzed in main channel, side channel, and backwater habitats. However, their diet preference and feeding behavior has not been evaluated in the presence of non-native Asian carp (Hypophthalmichthys sp.). We examined the gut contents of adult blue catfish (567 mm –1020 mm, n= 60), captured using trammel nets, from an impounded backwater in pool 26 of the Mississippi River near Alton, IL. Blue catfish diets were collected by gastric lavage and manual prompting. The gut contents were immediately placed on ice and then frozen upon return to the lab. Individual diets were separated by taxa, visually counted and enumerated based on hard structures, wet weights and dry weights obtained and unidentified fish species were confirmed with genetic analysis. Adult Asian carp were identified as the primary fish species with the highest frequency of occurrence found within blue catfish diets and constituted the greatest percentage of the diet by weight Currently, ages of Asian carp, retrieved from blue catfish diets, are being determined by sectioning spines, postcleithra, and vertebrate to determine size of Asian carp ingested based on age-length keys. Diet adaptation of a top-tier predator to a highly invasive species complex offers a unique look at biological control and management within the Mississippi River Basin.
Title: Juvenile Asian Carp as Forage for Native Predators in the LaGrange Reach, Illinois River
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
11:00 am - 11:20 am
Authors: Cory A. Anderson, Rebekah L. Haun, James T. Lamer — Department of Biological Sciences, Western Illinois University; James H. Larson, Brent Knights, Jon Vallazza — Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, United States Geological Survey; Levi Solomon, Rich Pendleton, Andrew Casper — Nerissa McClelland, Illinois River Biological Station, Illinois Natural History Survey, Havana Field Office, Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Abstract: Increasing numbers of silver carp (Hypopthalmichthys molotrix) and bighead carp (Hypopthalmichthys nobilis) in the Illinois River has led to concerns about the impact their invasion has on native food web dynamics. Asian carp have high fecundities and rapid growth and in the absence of predator controls, they can quickly achieve high densities. A large Asian carp spawning event on the Illinois River was observed in the summer of 2014 providing us an opportunity to determine how native piscivorous fish (n=700) respond to high juvenile Asian carp densities. White bass (Morone chrysops), channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris), largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus) and white crappie (P. annularis) were collected from the LaGrange Reach during a large Asian carp spawning event observed on the Illinois River (August 1 and October 31) using pulsed-DC boat electrofishing and พ in. fyke nets. Fish were immediately anesthetized and put on ice following collection, and total length (mm) and weight (g) measured. Stomachs were dissected and preserved in 95% EtOH and the contents of each stomach were quantified visually, and separated into individual taxa. Wet weights of all individual taxa were recorded and dry weights obtained after drying at 108ฐC for 48 hours. Preliminary diet analysis reveals that all six species fed heavily on juvenile Asian carp over a discrete juvenile size range. The duration of the sampling period allowed us to determine the size and density most vulnerable to predation by native predators.
Title: Vulnerability of Juvenile Asian Carp to Predation By Largemouth Bass
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
11:20 am - 11:40 am
Authors: Eric Sanft, David H. Wahl — Illinois Natural History Survey/University of Illinois
Abstract: Invasive bighead (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) and silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) have become established throughout much of the Mississippi River basin. In many areas, these two species comprise a significant proportion of the fish biomass. Despite their prevalence and potential for negative environmental impacts, to date, there has been no research regarding predator-prey interactions between Asian carp and native species. We sought to examine largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) predation on juvenile bighead and silver carp in relation to common native prey species. Prey species selection experiments in 2-m pools showed number of prey captures was highest for bighead carp followed by gizzard shad with lower capture rates for bluegill, golden shiner, and silver carp. Observations of prey and predator behavior were quantified in a 720-L tank to explain differences in prey vulnerability. Variation in anti-predator behavior explains relative differences in vulnerability to predation. These differences in vulnerability between bighead and silver carp may explain their differences in invasion success. The relatively high vulnerability of bighead carp and similar vulnerability of silver carp to common native prey suggests that Asian carp may serve as viable prey for native predators mitigating the potential negative impacts on the native prey community.
Title: Spatial and Inter-specific Patterns of Contaminant Burdens in Bighead and Silver Carp From the Illinois River
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
11:40 am - 12:00 pm
Authors: Jeffrey M. Levengood, David J. Soucek, Gregory G. Sass, John M. Epifanio — Illinois Natural History Survey, UIUC
Abstract: Efforts to control invasive bighead (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) and silver carp (H. molitrix) may include harvest for human consumption, livestock feed and fertilizer. We measured selected organohalogens and mercury in fillets and whole carp from the Illinois River, Illinois, to characterize spatial and inter-specific patterns of contaminant burdens and to test whether concentrations were of health concern. Silver carp had greater lipid content (x ฏ = 1.46% vs. 5.25%, respectively) and concentrations of lipophilic compounds (e.g., tPCB x ฏ = 259 vs. 210 ng/g, respectively) than did bighead carp. Concentrations of organohalogens were generally greater in carp from the upper reaches of the river and were associated with length and lipid content in silver carp. Chlordanes and polychlorinated biphenyls in whole carp were of potential concern with regard to their use as animal feed additives. Mercury concentrations were greater in bighead than in silver (x ฏ = 19.0 vs. 12.0 ng/g) carp carcasses, and were least in carp from the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. Mercury concentrations in fillets were correlated with body mass and were greater than in whole fish. Concentrations of mercury in some carp would invoke a recommendation to limit meals in sensitive cohorts. Overall, concentrations of measured environmental contaminants were low. Nevertheless, individuals may contain levels that exceed consumption thresholds and concentrations of some chemicals differed between species, river reaches, and tissues examined. Our findings should be considered when developing recommendations for use of bighead and silver carp from the Illinois River.
BREAK
Symposium - Asian Carp
Tuesday, February 10
1:20 pm - 3:00 pm
Title: Validation of Newly Developed eDNA Markers for the Early Detection of Silver and Bighead Carp
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
1:20 pm - 1:40 pm
Authors: Emy M Monroe, Whitney Genetics Lab, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Onalaska, WI; Christopher Rees, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, US Geological Survey, La Crosse, WI; Maren Tuttle-Lau, Whitney Genetics Lab, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Onalaska, WI; Kyle Von Ruden, Whitney Genetics Lab, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Onalaska, WI; Christopher Merkes, S. Grace McCalla, Jon Amberg — Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, US Geological Survey, La Crosse, WI; Xin Guan, Richard Lance — Environmental Research and Development Center, US Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg, MS
Abstract: The Whitney Genetics Lab is Fish and Wildlife Service's dedicated environmental DNA (eDNA) laboratory charged with processing eDNA samples for early detection of Silver (SC) and Bighead carp (BC). Strict methods and protocols are detailed in the Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP). Briefly, water samples are collected, filtered to concentrate organic material, and then polymerase chain reaction techniques are used to detect the presence of carp DNA. The QAPP protocol, in use 2009-2013, used just one conventional or end-point PCR (cPCR) marker per species (SC and BC), which were then both confirmed by sequencing. The SC marker regularly detected SC DNA in known carp-positive water, but the BC marker consistently failed to amplify DNA in known carp-positive waters, even small ponds where large BC (over 60#) were removed a day after testing. Thus, new markers were needed to increase the sensitivity and accuracy of the eDNA surveillance program. This study tested 9 new real-time PCR (qPCR) markers and 5 new cPCR markers developed at UMESC & ERDC. New markers were validated by blinded analyses in three laboratories and then detection accuracy was compared to current markers in several different surface waters (three known carp positive and three known carp negative). All of the markers tested passed validation, but qPCR markers outperformed cPCR markers for both species with higher sensitivity and more accurate results. As a result, six new qPCR markers were adopted for use in the QAPP and applied to the 2014 monitoring season.
Title: Seasonal Movement of Double-crested Cormorants in Urban and Rural Colonies
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
1:40 pm - 2:00 pm
Authors: Michael P. Guilfoyle, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center; Brian S. Dorr, USDA Wildlife Services, National Wildlife Research Center; Richard A. Fischer, U.S. Army Eningeer Research and Development Center
Abstract: We used satellite telemetry on double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) at two breeding colonies to determine if urban and rural breeders differed in seasonal behavior or landscape use and to determine any role as vectors of Asian carp eDNA. The Baker's Lake colony is located near Barrington, IL, in the Chicago metropolitan area and the rural colony was located along the Illinois River at The Nature Conservancy Emiquon Preserve, near Peoria, IL. We monitored movements of 30 birds (15 from each colony) to compare seasonal movement frequency, distance, direction, and home range estimates during the breeding (May-July 12; n=29), migration (July 13-October 30; n=16), and winter (November-December; n=8) seasons. We also sampled each captured bird and tested for carp eDNA. Ninety-three and 47% of cormorants from the TNC Preserve and Baker's Lake, were positive for carp eDNA, respectively. Rural cormorants exhibited larger home ranges, moved longer distances and had higher frequency of movements than urban cormorants during the breeding season. With the exception of a few outliers from the urban colony, no differences were observed in the measured parameters during the non-breeding seasons. All cormorants migrated south towards the Mississippi Delta region, and most wintered along the Louisiana Coast, or in the delta. Urban cormorants tended to remain near the colony during the breeding season, suggesting ample foraging resources; perhaps taking advantage of stocked ponds and lakes in the Chicago area. Rural cormorants moved more frequently and longer distances, suggesting an increased need to expand foraging range to meet daily requirements.
Title: Persistence of DNA in Carcasses, Slime and Avian Feces May Affect Interpretation of Environmental DNA Data
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
2:00 pm - 2:20 pm
Authors: Christopher B. Rees*, Christopher M. Merkes, S. Grace McCalla, Nathan R. Jensen, Mark P. Gaikowsk — Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, US Geological Survey; Michael P. Guilfoyle, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS; Brian S. Dorr, USDA, National Wildlife Research Center, MS State University, MS
Abstract: Interpretation of environmental DNA data has been debatable due to the lack of capture of a live silver carp in the Chicago Area Waterways System (CAWS) despite many positive eDNA results since 2009. One explanation for this occurrence is the presence of secondary sources that can act as vectors of carp DNA into the system. Here, we explore whether alternative sources of silver carp DNA, such as piscivorous birds, barges, and dead carcasses may be deposited in a water sample and detected by traditional eDNA assays, and how long that signal may persist. Experiments were carried out to see if silver carp DNA could be detected from 4 non-living sources: feces from eagles which had eaten silver carp the day before, silver carp slime deposits, air-exposed carcasses, and carcasses submerged in water. Silver carp DNA was detected in eDNA samples taken from all 4 non-living sources throughout the entire month-long study. Moreover, positive DNA results from cloacal and throat swaps from nesting double-crested cormorants in the Chicago area indicate that these birds are consuming silver carp. These results suggest that other vector sources may be able to cause positive eDNA detections by transporting silver carp DNA from carp infested waters to areas where there are no carp present. This knowledge can be used to improve sampling strategies to account for vector source contributions, identify and assess current and future needs for control, and to improve eDNA techniques toward accurately tracking live fish.
Title: Rapid, Portable Molecular Detection of eDNA From Silver and Big Head Carp
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
2:20 pm - 2:40 pm
Authors: Thomas Schoenfeld*, Leah Cronan — Lucigen Corporation; Christopher Rees, Jon Amberg — United States Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center (UMESC)
Abstract: Timely detection of invasive aquatic species is critical to preventing their spread in North American waterways. Current methods of identifying bighead and silver carp by PCR amplification of environmental DNA (eDNA), while sensitive and reliable, are also relatively time consuming and suitable only for performance in well-equipped laboratories. This often results in a significant lag between sample collection and analysis due to time spent on sample preparation and thermal-cycled amplification. We are developing a rapid device that incorporates sample preparation, isothermal amplification and digital reporting in a battery powered instrument that allows testing to be performed in the field with minimal training and generates results that are easily analyzed and shared with other stake holders. This test targets mitochondrial sequences that are conserved within the respective species, but divergent among related species. These reaction mixes have been dried to enhance stability to allow for room-temperature distribution and storage. Time to result is about 30 minutes while sensitivity and specificity are comparable to alternative methods of detection. The results are output as a digital file for formatting and analysis. We provide data showing performance and equivalence compared to real-time PCR.
Title: Developing a Silver Carp-Specific Biomarker Targeting Members of its Gut Microbiota
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
2:40 pm - 3:00 pm
Authors: Camila Carlos, Takashi Narihiro, Maszru Nobu — Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Andrew F. Casper, Illinois River Biological Station, Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Wen-Tso Liu, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract: Environmental DNA has been used for detecting Asian carp populations in freshwater systems in the Midwest. However, a complementary method is necessary for more effective and accurate surveillance studies. The use of gut bacteria as biomarkers of their host has been widely used to track fecal pollution sources (humans or livestock) in water bodies. Microbial source tracking assumes that the gut of different species selects different bacteria. The aim of this work is to develop a Silver carp (SVC)-specific biomarker targeting members of its gut microbiota. Using 16S rRNA-based Illumina sequencing technology (iTAG), we have characterized the water and the gut microbial community composition of three Asian carp species (SVC, Common carp and Grass carp) and eleven native fish species collected near Havana, Illinois in November 2013. Low overlap of microbial entities was observed between the fish gut and water communities (in average 10% of the OTUs [operational taxonomic units] found in fish gut and 4% of the OTUs found in water). One possible explanation is the low survivor rate after defecation of gut bacteria (mainly anaerobic or microaerophile) in water streams. Three species-specific OTUs unique to SVC were identified. Alignment comparisons with sequences from a previous work confirmed their specificity. All these results indicate that gut bacteria are promising candidates to be used as biomarkers for the detection of SVC. Probes targeting the three SVC-specific OTUs are being designed and will be tested against water samples from locations where SVC is known to be present or absent and unknown presence.
BREAK
Symposium - Asian Carp
Tuesday, February 10
3:40 pm - 5:00 pm
Title: If You Can't Beat 'em, Then Eat 'em
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
3:40 pm - 4:00 pm
Authors: Mark Morgan, Yun Ho, Tim Wall — University of Missouri
Abstract: Bigheaded carp continue to expand their range throughout mid-western rivers, threatening native species and possible entry into the Great Lakes. Numerous ways are being considered to reduce their population. Commercial harvest is a viable option, but the supply of fish is larger than current demand. Some uses include: fertilizer, fish oil, bait and pet food. Human consumption is a possible solution, but carp are considered to be a low-status fish in the U.S., primarily due to their appearance and presence of intra-muscular bones, thus making them difficult to fillet.

Bigheaded carp are a plentiful, healthy and inexpensive source of protein, yet many people are unaware of these benefits. A bane to rivers, Asian carp can be a boon to local economies if this ""trash"" fish becomes an integral part of the food culture. A market-based study was needed.

A random sample of Missouri anglers (n=2,000) were asked to complete a mail-back survey which measured various aspects of Asian carp. A total of 465 anglers returned their questionnaires (26.8% response rate). Results indicated that knowledge of and attitude toward Asian carp among Missouri anglers was poor. Less than 12% of respondents have eaten Asian carp, but nearly 40% are interested in trying the product. Subjects were willing to pay $2.09 for a boneless, ground product. Findings suggest the effect of public education / outreach is large.

Based on these results, a business strategy was developed for grocery store shoppers and restaurant customers in Columbia, Missouri. Some preliminary data will be presented.
Title: Entrapment Gear Catch Rates of Asian Carp in the Illinois River: A Comparison of Pound Nets With Hoop and Trap Nets
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
4:00 pm - 4:20 pm
Authors: Scott F. Collins, Steven E. Butler, Matthew J. Diana, David H. Wahl — Illinois Natural History Survey
Abstract: We compared entrapment gears in two backwater lake habitats of the Illinois River to determine whether pound nets are an effective means of collecting invasive bighead (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) and silver carp (H. molitrix). Gears were deployed concurrently at two sites, Lily Lake and Morris, during summers 2012-2014. Overall, nightly catch rates of total catch, bighead carp, and silver carp in pound nets were generally gwo orders of magnitude greater than either trap and hoop nets. Pound nets collected larger bighead carp in comparison to hoop and trap nets, however no differences were observed among gear types for silver carp. Fish species richness did not vary between pound and trap nets, and both gears had greater richness than hoop nets. In general, hoop nets were rather ineffective at catching Asian carp when compared to other gears. Accounting for person hours related to deployment, daily maintenance, and removal of gears indicated that pound nets were the most effective gear in terms of effort expended. Time needed to collect and re-deploy numerous trap and hoop nets was high when scaled to achieve equivalent catches observed in pound nets. Pound nets appear to be an effective means of collecting Asian carp in backwater lake habitats of large rivers.
Title: Bioacoustic Deterrence of Invasive Bigheaded Carps
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
4:20 pm - 4:40 pm
Authors: Kelsie A. Murchy, University of Minnesota Duluth; Aaron R. Cupp, Mark P. Gaikowski — USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center; Allen F. Mensinger, University of Minnesota Duluth
Abstract: Since their accidental release in the Mississippi River 20 years ago, invasive bighead and silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys noblis and H. molitrix) comprise a large percent of the biomass in many watersheds throughout the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States. These filter feeding fish, which have no natural predators in North America, threaten native species. Local, state, and federal agencies are working to prevent further migration of these invasive species, especially into Lake Michigan, which could open the entire Laurentian Great Lakes system to invasion. An electrical barrier is currently in place along the Chicago Sanitary Canal, however, this system must be shut down for maintenance and thus there is a need for an alternative barrier that would prevent bighead and silver carp migration. One of the alternative barriers currently undergoing evaluation is an acoustic barrier. Controlled experiments in restricted access outdoor ponds outfitted with a cinder-block barrier evaluated the effectiveness of complex sound stimuli on fish movement. Four speakers, placed on either side of the opening, were used to prevent carp from crossing the barrier and overhead cameras monitored fish behavior. Through seven replicates using silver carp, bighead carp, and a combination of silver and bighead carp, fish were successfully restricted to one side of the pond or the other for a 30 minute period. This study demonstrates that complex sound is effective in deterring fish movement and could be used as a back up during electric barrier maintenance or as an upstream barrier in carp infested rivers.
Title: Bioacoustic Control and Management of Invasive Silver Carp
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 10
4:40 pm - 5:00 pm
Authors: Brooke J. Vetter, University of Minnesota Duluth; Aaron R. Cupp, Kim T. Fredricks, Mark P. Gaikowski — USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center; Allen F. Mensinger, University of Minnesota Duluth
Abstract: Silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) dominate large regions of the Mississippi River Drainage, outcompete native species, and continue to expand northward threatening the Great Lakes. Understanding silver carp behavior is critical to determine effective techniques for controlling this harmful species. Field observations and recordings in Havana, IL were completed to correlate the response of silver carp to the sound generated by outboard boat motors. Controlled experiments, in restricted access outdoor concrete ponds (10 x 5 x 2 m), investigated the sensory biology of silver carp. The concrete ponds were outfitted with overhead cameras, speakers, and hydrophones. Pure tones (500-2000 Hz) and field recordings of outboard motors were broadcast to silver carp and their behavior tracked. Silver carp habituated quickly to pure tones (after 1-2 trials) however, they regularly exhibited negative phonotaxis in response to outboard motor sounds. By alternating the speakers, silver carp movement was consistently directed away from the sound source to the opposite end of the pond. This research suggests that sound can be used to alter the behavior of silver carp with implications for deterrent barriers or other uses (e.g., herding fish to increase harvest). Research was supported through the U.S. Geological Survey and University of Minnesota Duluth.
Symposium - Asian Carp
Wednesday, February 11
8:00 am - 10:00 am
Title: The Effectiveness of Carbon Dioxide as a Non-physical Barrier for Fish Movement
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
8:00 am - 8:20 am
Authors: Caleb T. Hasler, Shivani Adhikari, Clark E. Dennis III, Adam W. Wright, Jennifer D. Jeffrey, Michael R. Donaldson — Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois; Jon Amberg, Mark Gaikowski — Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, United States Geological Survey; Cory D. Suski, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois
Abstract: Invasive Asian carp are currently contained within the Mississippi River basin by electrified barriers. Development of novel barriers would provide additional means to prevent Asian carp from spreading. This presentation summarizes two studies designed to quantify the effectiveness of CO2 to act as a non-physical barrier. First, pond experiments were performed to identify if the movement of free-swimming fishes in a field setting would be influenced by the presence of a zone of elevated CO2. Second, the capacity for physiological acclimation following extended exposure to CO2 was also explored. Results demonstrate that free-swimming fishes in a pond environment will avoid areas of elevated CO2, and that it is indeed feasible to treat large volumes of water (almost 2 million gallons) with CO2 to a level that excludes fish. In addition, extended exposure to CO2 will induce changes to physiology and performance, but will not alter thresholds of avoidance. Together, these two studies demonstrate that CO2 has potential as a barrier to prevent the spread of Asian carp, and that the barrier has potential to be applied over extended time periods and at large scales.
Title: Waterguns as Behavioral Deterrents of Asian Carp
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
8:20 am - 8:40 am
Authors: Nathan R. Jensen, Mark P. Gaikowski, Robert F. Gaugush, Patrick M. Kocovsky, Todd J. Severson, Jeremy K. Wise — USGS
Abstract: Seismic waterguns developed for hydrocarbon exploration in oceanic environments were tested as barriers for Bighead Carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis and Silver Carp H. molitrix. In 2012 and 2013 we used hydroacoustics and video arrays to examine response of age-0 Carp in a 0.2-ha pond at the US Geological Survey's Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center to discharge of 1,311-cm3 displacement waterguns. In 2014 we deployed the same waterguns in a scaled-up, 136-ha backwater of the Illinois River and used mobile and stationary hydroacoustic arrays and acoustically tagged adult (> 450 mm TL) Bighead Carp, Silver Carp, and Ictiobus spp. to test the viability of waterguns as a barrier. Age-0 fish in the pond environment demonstrated clear avoidance behavior of waterguns fired at 1,600 psi and 10-sec intervals. At the scale of a field site, the two guns firing at the same operational parameters were breached by acoustically tagged adults, demonstrating that waterguns were not a barrier. However, fish demonstrated avoidance behavior as they approached the waterguns, and both mobile and stationary hydroacoustic surveys confirmed lower densities of Asian-carp-sized targets nearer to the watergun array. Trials planned for 2015 will deploy a modified, larger (up to 6 gun) array of waterguns with firing intervals every 2 s. and firing pressures will be increased to 2,000 psi.
Title: Evaluation of Non-permanent Barrier Technologies to Prevent Fish Movements: A Mesocosm Study
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
8:40 am - 9:00 am
Authors: Jaewoo Kim, Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Nicholas E. Mandrak, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough
Abstract: Increasingly, the number and type of aquatic invasive species are on the rise worldwide. When dealing with invasive species, preventing transport and introduction is considered one of most effective management options. While permanent barriers may be best in deterring fish movements, in many instances, they may not be feasible due to various logistical constraints and/or costs. Alternatively, various non-permanent barriers using electricity, light, sound, pressure, and bubbles are being developed and deployed in efforts to limit the spread of aquatic invasive species or to achieve fish guidance and conservation. However, effectiveness of these barriers is quite variable, and testing is often lacking or limited to small-scale lab settings. To evaluate the effectiveness of non-permanent barriers in preventing fish movement, we conducted a mesocosm study in a boat slip near Hamilton Harbour, Ontario, Canada. In 2014, we deployed 8 acoustic receivers and tracked over 100 tagged fishes in the boat slip that is divided in half by non-permanent barriers such as acoustic water gun and seismic boomer plates. The results of 2014 field season will be discussed. Our results will be critical to the evaluation of management strategies to prevent the spread of invasive species.
Title: Identifying Potential Pathogens for Biological Control of Invasive Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and Bighead Carp (H. nobilis)
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
9:00 am - 9:20 am
Authors: Kensey Thurner, Reuben R. Goforth, Cecon Mahapatra — Department of Forestry and Natural Resources Purdue University; Jon Amberg, USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center; Eric Leis, USFWS La Crosse Fish Health Center; Maria S. Sepulveda, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources Purdue University
Abstract: Aquatic invasive species (AIS) threaten ecosystems and associated biodiversity by competing with native species and altering habitats. Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and Bighead Carp (H. nobilis), collectively known as bigheaded carps, were introduced to the U.S. in the 1970s. They have become prolific, invasive pests in Midwestern rivers and pose a substantial threat to valuable Great Lakes commercial and sport fisheries. It is important to understand how bigheaded carps thrive beyond their native ranges, including their susceptibility to native and invasive pathogens. To help understand the potential role of disease for controlling bigheaded carps, we are identifying pathogens affecting Silver Carp and Bighead Carp in the Wabash and Tippecanoe Rivers in Indiana. We collected tissue and plasma samples from bigheaded carps and native fishes in both rivers and extracted DNA from the samples. We used a metagenomic next-generation sequencing approach to identify pathogen DNA present in each fish species and also identified endoparasites present in the gastrointestinal tract. We found Pseudomonas fluorescens, P. putida, and Salmonella enterica DNA in bigheaded carps. All of these bacteria are pathogenic to fishes, but not exclusively pathogenic to carps. No endoparasites were detected in the guts of bigheaded carps. We will also present preliminary in vitro data on the susceptibility of bighead carps to Largemouth Bass Virus, Golden Shiner Virus, and Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis Virus. Bigheaded carps in the Wabash River do not appear to be heavily burdened by natural exposure to pathogens, but do harbor some native bacteria.
Title: A Structural Activity Relationship (SAR) Approach to Identify New Chemical Controls for Invasive Aquatic Species
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
9:20 am - 9:40 am
Authors: Joel G. Putnam, USGS UMESC; Terrance D. Hubert, USGS UMESC; Tammy J. Clark, Viterbo University; Eric Leis, US Fish and Wildlife; Justine Nelson, Viterbo University; Mark P. Gaikowski, USGS UMESC
Abstract: The search for new chemical controls for aquatic invasive species has gained renewed interest due to the spread of Asian carp, dreissenid mussels, and the need for alternative controls for sea lamprey. This project uses structural activity relationships (SARs) to link chemical information with biological activity and predicts new chemical controls that are effective against invasive species. A database of chemical descriptors, such as molecular weight, solubility, and polar surface area, was created to link the chemical structure/information with species specific toxicity. The EPA ECOTOX database was used to gather toxicity data for three fish: fathead minnow, bluegill sunfish, and rainbow trout. The total number of toxicity trials reported was 13,335 and consisted of 1,793 chemicals. Models based on these toxicity trial were created using the EPA ECOSAR equation (log LC50 = ax1 + ax2 + c), where x1 was the inverse of the toxicant mole fraction and x2 was a molecular descriptor. Individual model classes were developed based on the polar surface area of the toxicant. When these models were applied to the ZINC12 database, from the University of California, San Francisco 23 chemicals were identified as potential invasive species control compounds. The US Fish and Wildlife developed cell lines specific to Asian carp and these were used to test the 23 chemicals identified from the ZINC12 database.
Title: Development of a Species-specific Control for Bigheaded Carps
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
9:40 am - 10:00 am
Authors: Jon J. Amberg, Blake W. Sauey, Joel G. Putnam, Craig A. Jackson, Terrance D. Hubert, Mark P. Gaikowski — USGS
Abstract: Bigheaded carps (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix and H. nobilis), threaten several aquatic systems throughout North America including the Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi River. Unfortunately, resource managers are presently limited to very few non-specific piscicides for control of these two species. Therefore, the development of management controls that are more specific is of a high priority to resource managers. One potential method to increase specificity is to exploit the filter-feeding habits of these bigheaded carps through capturing bioactive compounds within a microparticle for targeted delivery. Using technologies developed by the aquaculture and food industries, microparticles capable of holding bioactive compounds and release them under specific conditions are being developed to selectively deliver control agents to bigheaded carps. Differences in digestive processes, feeding habits and size selectivity between the invasive and native species suggest the feasibility of this approach. A variety of microparticles have been developed to accommodate different types of control agents. Particles have been found to be readily consumed by bigheaded carps have been created at the Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center of the United State Geological Survey. Results suggest that these microparticles have the potential to selectively deliver a control agent to bigheaded carps for population management as part of an integrative pest management program.
BREAK
Symposium - Asian Carp
Wednesday, February 11
10:40 am - 12:00 pm
Title: Integrated Pest Management for Control of Asian Carp
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
10:40 am - 11:00 am
Authors: Patrick M. Kocovsky, US Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center; Jon Amberg, US Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center; Robin Calfee, US Geological Survey Columbia Environmental Research Center; Mark Gaikowski, US Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center; Nathan Jensen, US Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center; Edward Little, US Geological Survey Columbia Environmental Research Center
Abstract: US Geological Survey research on controlling and reducing the risk of spread of Asian carp is being conducted on biological, chemical, and physical control methods for eventual application by management agencies in an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy. Individual control methods, including algal attractants, waterguns, micro-particle toxin delivery systems, underwater sound, harvest/mortality, and modeling in support of hydrologic control methods are being developed and evaluated. In 2013 and 2014 we conducted several trials to evaluate these technologies in a 136-ha backwater of the Illinois River near Morris, Illinois. In 2013, commercial harvest in combination with a 2-watergun array firing every 10-s achieved depletion, but the depletion pattern suggests the waterguns were not a barrier. In 2014 behavioral deterrence of watergun arrays was demonstrated. Delivery systems for algal attractants have been tested and demonstrated to attract Asian carp after a period of conditioning. Fish abundance increased with time in response to the algal attractant specifically within 20-30 minutes after the stimulus was introduced. Toxin-laced microparticles are being developed and submitted for EPA approval. Flow models have permitted evaluation of risk of spawning and identification of reaches of river where hydrologic control methods might be constructed to disrupt transport of pelagic eggs and larvae. Additional work on other sources of underwater sound and integration of several of these strategies simultaneously are planned for 2015.
Title: Ohio's Response to the Growing Threat of Asian Carp
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
11:00 am - 11:20 am
Authors: John Navarro, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife
Abstract: The discovery of silver carp in the Ohio River near Cincinnati and the detection of Bighead and Silver Carp environmental DNA (eDNA) in western Lake Erie in 2012 prompted Ohio to develop a plan of action to deal with this growing threat. Ohio developed the Asian Carp Tactical Plan to address: 1) the Lake Erie watershed, where Bighead and Silver Carp are not established; 2) the Ohio River watershed, where Bighead and Silver Carp are established; 3) Grass Carp, which present a separate set of problems; and, 4) a communication strategy among agencies, non-governmental organizations, universities, and the public. Ohio also developed the Rapid Response Plan for Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) to address our response to new Asian carp detections in Ohio. Finally, Ohio developed an Asian carp decision matrix which provides a structured response to new Asian carp information. The response to new information is based on the type of information (eDNA, adult fish, or juvenile fish), the risk (threat to the system), and return (ability to eliminate the risk). The action taken ranges from communication of information (internal or external) to a planned response (monitoring or eradication). These planning tools allow Ohio to address the growing threat of Asian carp in a responsible manner.
Title: Bighead, Silver and Grass Carp in Minnesota
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
11:20 am - 11:40 am
Authors: John D. Waters, Will French, Nick Frohnauer — Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Abstract: The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Asian Carp monitoring program consists for a multi-faceted sampling protocol to both monitor for these species as well as native species. Directed adult, juvenile, and larval sampling has been in place since 2012. Bighead, silver, and grass carp have been caught in Minnesota in previous years. In 2014, 2 silver and 1 bighead carp were caught in Pool 2 of the Mississippi River, constituting the furthest upstream these species have been observed in Minnesota. One bighead and one silver carp were identified as gravid females. The second silver carp has yet to be analyzed at this time. Further, a male bighead carp was caught in the St. Croix River and 2 grass carp were caught in Pool 5A. Monitoring will continue to determine and limit the abundance and distribution of these species and native species data will be further analyzed to determine age and length distributions, condition factor, and timing of spawning.
Title: Asian Carp in Urban Fishing Ponds
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 11
11:40 am - 12:00 pm
Authors: Tristan Widloe, Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Victor J. Santucci, Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Gregory W. Whitledge, Southern Illinois University - Carbondale
Abstract: Verified occurrences of Asian carp in impoundments have been documented throughout the United States. In Illinois, 32 Bighead Carp have been removed from five Chicago area urban fishing ponds by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources since 2011; two additional Chicago area fishing ponds, as well as three ponds downstate, have verified captures of Bighead Carp from either sampling, pond rehabilitation or natural die-offs. All but one of these ponds is isolated with no surface water connection to Lake Michigan or the Chicago Area Waterway System upstream of the Electric Dispersal Barrier. The capture of only large adults in Chicago area fishing ponds and results from otolith microchemistry analysis suggest that these fish were incidentally stocked before the State of Illinois banned transport of live Bighead Carp in 2002-2003. This corresponds to a time when Bighead Carp were raised in ponds with Channel Catfish in certain regions of the U.S. Contaminated shipments of Channel Catfish are a likely source of Bighead Carp in urban fishing ponds as catchable-sized catfish are stocked frequently in these waters throughout the State. Removal of Asian carp from ponds where they are known to occur is essential to reduce the likelihood of human transfers of fish between water bodies. We recommend that other states, particularly those within the Great Lakes basin, monitor ponds that may have been stocked with co-mingled populations of catfish and Asian carps to eliminate this as an alternative pathway for Asian carp introduction into the Great Lakes and other waterways.
© Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference
Website Design & Management by:
Delaney Meeting and Event Management